Guatemala City acknowledges the need to work on the implementation of initiatives to help improve the safety conditions of women in public transportation. Government agencies are currently working to produce information that will enable them to establish specific lines of work to address the issue.
Information collected by the Street Sexual Harassment Observatory (OCAC, Observatorio para el Acoso Sexual Callejero) indicates that the majority (68%) of women surveyed feel unsafe or very unsafe in the public transportation system. In addition, 90% of the women who responded to the study have been harassed, 60% claim to be harassed between 3 and 5 times a week, and nearly 100% believe sexual harassment should be considered an offense. In the same vein, the study reveals that 48% of women consider that they feel most vulnerable to harassment when using the public transportation system.
Five out of 10 women in Guatemala City feel unsafe walking alone in the city during the day, and 7 out of 10 feel that they shouldn’t feel insecure to walk the streets at night.
Guatemala City has been working in order for its entities to be aware of the importance of including gender as a pillar of public policy and has therefore designed a Gender Plan. Furthermore, with the support of national entities such as the Attorney's Office for Human Rights (Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) and others such as UN Women, they support Legislative Proporsal 5280, which seeks to be a deterrent law against sexual harassment through the application of severe punishment.
The City, supported by different organizations, has developed two initiatives seeking to contribute to improve the sense of security in public transportation, among women. The first one refers to an education and awareness campaign and an action path for potential offenders, and the second one refers to the safer bus stops initiative implemented by the Urban transportation system (Transurbano). Finally, there is third related initiative, the Street Harassment Observatory of Guatemala, which is led by the civil society, but which has worked hand in hand with the Department of Women (Dirección de la Mujer) and UN Women to bolster gender initiatives in the City.