By Abhimanyu S.
What does it mean to move as a woman in an Indian city? Does women’s experience of navigating urban India’ mobility differ from men? If yes, how? Are these differences more pronounced for women from economically disadvantaged groups, historically marginalised castes, religious minorities and women with disabilities?
OMI Foundation’s data comics, “Moving While Woman: Bindu’s Big City Journey”, looks to answer all these questions and much more — through a data driven lens, set against the backdrop of an Indian metropolis.
“Bindu’s Big City Journey” is part of OMI Foundation’s larger campaign around intersections of gender and urban mobility, titled “Moving While Woman”. Drawing on comprehensive research and real-world experiences, the campaign hopes to provide a captivating glimpse into the multifaceted challenges faced by women and gender-diverse individuals while moving within our cities.
Designed and developed in collaboration with Leewardists, the data comics sheds light on the nuanced differences that encompass the mobility journeys of these individuals through vivid illustrations and thought-provoking storytelling. It covers a range of aspects from safety concerns, affordability and accessibility limitations to the pervasive issues of harassment and unequal access to public transportation. For example, 40% Indian women find metro trains unaffordable while 43.6% women in India lack ready access to understand bus routes and schedules, and so on.
One of the key strengths of “Bindu’s Big City Journey” is its ability to address the intersections of identity and experience. The comics delves into the amplified challenges encountered by women from marginalised castes and communities, women with disabilities, senior citizens, women travelling with children, and trans/non-binary individuals. For example, it points out how trans/non-binary people are 4 to 5 times more likely to be harassed on public transport in India. By highlighting the diverse realities faced by these groups, the comics provides a platform for awareness, empathy, and advocacy, fostering a deeper understanding of the issues that underlie urban mobility.
While the remarkable visual narrative offers a fresh and innovative perspective on the unique experiences of women and trans/non-binary individuals navigating urban mobility in India, the larger goal of this data comics to serve as a catalyst for discussions, collaborations, and initiatives among city planners, administrations, law enforcement authorities, civil society, and consumers of urban mobility systems. Initiating such a dialogue can drive change that leads to building safer, more affordable, inclusive, and accessible Indian cities.
“Moving While Woman: Bindu’s Big City Journey” is available for free download on OMI Foundation’s website as well as across our social media platforms NOW! It is designed to be accessible to a wide audience, from policymakers and urban planners to community members and activists.
Join Bindu, as she navigates the city and find out what moving while a woman means for her and others around her!