OP-ED: Making Cities Safe for Women and Girls

"DUBLIN, Feb 19 2013 (IPS) - There is no city or country in the world where women and girls live free of the fear of violence. No leader can claim: This is not happening in my backyard."

Nor can any leader deny that economics, politics and religion puts women in less than full citizenship, participates in undervaluing woman and her contribution to society. For centuries the church told silly stories about the role of women and expected them to submit to such nonsense. Economic reality limited women in their life choices, and many still expect women to do the work of society without complaint and bear the next generation so politicians can use them for fodder for wars.

Michelle Bachelet. Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

"As more and more women, men and young people raise their voices and become active in local government, and more local leaders take action for the safety of women and girls, change happens.

"The meeting this week recognises that making cities smarter, safer and more sustainable requires partnership and collaboration – between residents, government, the private sector and civil society. By including women in decision-making, city governments will be in a better position to fulfill their responsibility to ensure the safety of their residents, especially women and girls."

"Active CitizensCrime & JusticeGender ViolenceHeadlinesHuman RightsPoverty & MDGsTerraViva United NationsUnited NationsWomen in PoliticsWorld

DUBLIN, Feb 19 2013 (IPS) 

Views: 20

Replies to This Discussion

I agree that "violence and harassment against women and girls in public spaces remains a largely neglected issue, with few laws or policies in place to address it." In Maslow's hierarchy

safety is the second most fundamental human need. Women are systematically deprived of safety, "security of body" and "of property" (theft) in public places. In counties where women are harassed by men for merely being in public places, or for being unaccompanied by a male, or for failing to wear oppressive clothing they are also systematically deprived "of morality" safety as well. While safety of employment and property aren't tied specifically to being in public places, these needs are also widely stripped from women.

Excellent! Thanks Ruth. 

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