- ABOUT SAY NO
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In cities all over the world, every day, women and girls face sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces as they go about their daily routines—whether on city streets, buses and trains or in their own neighbourhoods. These daily occurrences of violence infringe upon their rights and freedoms as equal citizens to enjoy and pursue freely opportunities for autonomous mobility, education, work, recreation and participation in political life. Despite affecting millions of women and girls, such forms of violence have long been tolerated, and it is largely neglected in policy and practice.
Launched in 2010 by UN Women, the Safe Cities Global Initiative, involving over 15 cities is working to address this challenge and to make cities safer for women and girls. The initiative builds on earlier efforts undertaken by women’s rights organizations and local governments in cities around the world, and is mobilizing more partners at all levels of society through two programmes: The Global Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Programme (2010-2016), led by UN Women, in partnership with UN Habitat, Women in Cities International, the Huairou Commission, the Women and Habitat Network of Latin America and the Caribbean, UCLG, and other Global and Local Partners, and the Joint Safe and Sustainable Cities for All” Programme (2011-2016) with UNICEF and UN HABITAT. It also forms part of a larger global movement dedicated to building safe and inclusive cities with and for women and girls to end sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and girls in public spaces.
Initial activities in the local communities revealed that, often for the first time, women and girls are identifying sexual harassment and fear of violence in public spaces as barriers in their lives. The programmes have also engaged men and youth. By launching their safe city programme, local governments have committed to develop strategic and effective prevention strategies that other countries and municipalities can learn from, and adapt. The Global Programme has been piloted in five cities.
- In March 2012, Quito adopted an amendment to the city ordinance on eliminating violence against women and girls to also include violence in public spaces.
- The ‘Cartas de Mujeres’ (Letters from Women) public awareness campaign, a successful joint initiative by UN Women, the Municipality of Quito and the German Development Cooperation agency (GIZ), is encouraging women to break their silence and speak out about their experiences.
- In New Delhi, Safe Cities’ models and approaches are being integrated into new government social protection schemes.
- In Kigali, the mayor's office is planning for safe cities measures to be included in its city plan and budget. It is also advocating for reforms to an existing law on gender-based violence to include measures on sexual harassment and violence in public spaces.
- Port Moresby’s National Capital District is working on expanding its Safe City work into additional areas of the city.
- In Cairo, Women’s Safety Audits have empowered local women to identify safety and security conditions in their neighborhoods and communities and build women’s safety partnerships with local authorities
Take action to support the UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative
Learn more about various safe city initiatives here and share these videos with your friends:
Safe Cities, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: http://ow.ly/i4Rlj
Hold a discussion with women and girls on the issue of sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and mobilize your municipality to join the UN Women’s Global Safe Cities Initiative. Check out available global tools on data collection and ethical issues on violence against women and girls.
Share with us if sexual harassment in public spaces is an issue in your community and what concrete action can be taken to prevent and respond to it
Check out these campaigns/initiatives:
- Stop Street harassment: http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/
- Harassmap: http://harassmap.org/
- Map Kibera: http://mapkibera.org/
|Action Type:||Awareness Raising|