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The Indian state of Kerala hosted a “Girls Night Out” initiative this week, a campaign aimed at allowing women to experience a safe nightlife and raise awareness about the growing issue of safety in a country that was once identified as the world’s most dangerous place for women, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.
The four-day campaign saw a 0.3-mile stretch of state highway decorated with festive lighting and food stalls from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The activities included live music performances, Zumba dances and a women’s marathon.
Participants also held discussions, which saw women speaking about issues in the community, such as a lack of public toilet facilities and safe public transport.
Mathew Kuzhalnadan, a representative of the Kerala Legislative Assembly who started “Girls Night Out,” said the campaign received a positive response and showed that “the people of Kerala want a nightlife that women can also be a part of.”
Meanwhile, the initiative underscores the lack of safety women experience in India.
In 2018, global researchers on women’s issues by Thomson Reuters ranked India as the most dangerous country for women, citing a high risk of sexual violence.
Government data also shows that crimes against women increased by 13 percent in 2021 compared with the previous year, while rape saw a 19 percent rise.