Ladies, how often have you been asked to not step out late at night? Pretty often? Almost everyday? In fact, the validity of that oft-repeated word of caution is quite a matter of shame, right?

The unequal usage of public space is so ingrained in our mindsets that we don’t even see it. The same spaces that are equally frequented during the day become dominated by men by night.


As reported by The Huffington Post , in an attempt to address this issue a group of women in Mumbai have started a mini-movement called Why Loiter . They walk the Mumbai streets once a month as a “silent protest”.

PRI’s The World covered one of these walks . Rhitu Chatterjee who covered this midnight walk mentions the uneasiness of it all.

She narrates about the curious stares, and how the noble taxiwala was a bit perturbed at their refusal to hire a cab in the middle of the night, and how an individual thought they probably wanted ‘some action’, and how a concerned policeman warned them from going to a certain area and, of course, the most common of them all – the grinning-winking guy who motions women to hop in his car.


What these women believe in, and we agree, is that women should be able to hang out at night just because they want to.

The movement was inspired from a book of the same name . One of the authors of the book says “The largest percent of assaults, sexual and other kinds of assaults, against women take place in the private space of the home and [are] committed by people known to them. But we never tell people, ‘Don’t go home.’ In fact, we urge them to be in this space.”

You can check the video here.

And it is not only in India that women are claiming public spaces, women in Pakistan are reclaiming the male-dominated tea stalls and making it known through social media.

Though these women agree that it might be a while before women use public spaces as much as men, this is definitely a start.