Have you ever asked yourself: Do I live in a city? Do I feel safe? Is my city an agreeable place to live?
What is my city like for women? Does every sector of my city demonstrate that people can live dignified lives there? Now, have you heard about UN Women’s “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” Global Programme” or the Global Safe City Initiative? UN Women states that “In cities all over the world, every day, women and girls face the threat of sexual harassment and violence in public spaces as they go about their daily routines—whether on city streets, on buses and trains, or in their own neighborhoods. These abuses limit women’s freedom as equal citizens to enjoy the urban environment, and to exercise their rights to education, work, recreation, collective organization and participation in political life”. Wealth does not shield women and girls from violence. However those living in poverty or marginalized communities often face greater risks. Despite disrupting the lives of countless millions of women and girls, this pattern of abuse is widely tolerated as a regular feature of city life. Even though the media and especially social media have highlighted extremely violent cases in some cities the issue or violence against women in public spaces remains a largely neglected issue. Few laws or policies are in place to address it, in spite of its social and economic costs to individuals, families and communities. Watch a UN Women video on global Safe City Initiative here.