As a woman, I can’t say that I feel safe all the time when walking by myself. Most of us have experienced worries about our safety, and sadly it’s a reality that we need to acknowledge because there are so many victims. Women’s safety is still a great concern around the globe.
Every woman is subject to be harassed in their lifetime. When it’s not sexual harassment in public transport, it’s verbal abuse on the streets, at school, intimidation from so-called friends, or even worse… That’s why we must put efforts to protect all women no matter their status, their color or their belief. The threat of violence or sexual harassment will lead some of them to avoid taking the bus, walking on the street, selling goods at the market and going to school as well. It limits their freedom to get an education, work or simply enjoy life in the outdoors. Some cities have adopted measures to raise women’s safety.
How Women’s Safety is Achieved Around the World
To name only a few, here are several ways making a difference for girls and women in the cities.
In Cairo, Egypt, more than 100 young men, and women have been engaged by Egypt’s Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development to lead transformative activities to promote gender equality, respect, and safety on the street. Comprehension will always have an impact on the human behavior and that is their way to fight against violence on women by sharing informative content at a school or meeting.
In Vienna, Austria, they focus their efforts on urban improvements. They installed additional street lights, upgraded underground parking safety and changed some of the public parks’ theme for a more specific sportive area to gather people together. They even built an innovative complex where women can live, shop or get services in one safe place. Would you live in a “Women Work City” if it was available to you?
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, women are partnering with local authorities using their cellphone to point deficient lightning, obscure road, unsafe locations or defective infrastructures to help them improve women’s safety in the city.
In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, the authorities have put a collaborating plan between them and women vendors in markets after numerous acts of violence were directed at women who only wanted to make a living. A very good initiative to promote gender equality in the market business. Be able to work is a human right, so a women’s right as well.
In Mexico City, they have a taxi service that allows women to get cabs driven by women. There are also buses in Thailand that work the same way.
Other Ways to Increase Women’s Safety
There’s an app that I found very interesting. The Safetipin. You can post and comments such as broken lights, unsafe locations, harassment locations, hazards or anything you see that should be shared to protect other women. It helps women to find 24-hour pharmacy or grocery, ATM machine, crowded public places and find a safer itinerary with the Safety Score indicator. I would definitely get this app but unfortunately, it’s accessible in only 10 cities at the moment. We’ll hope for more locations in the near future for sure. You can currently use it in Bogota, Jakarta, Nairobi, Karnal, Chandigarh, Delhi NCR, Quezon city, Guwahati, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
An organization named ‘No Means No Worldwide‘, teaches girls, boys, and women the causes and the effects of sexual gender-based violence and the skills to interpret, intervene or prevent it. It’s a school-based program that uses the IM power system of violence prevention and intervention training. These classes help them defend themselves by teaching auto-defense skills, recognize potential assault situations and build confidence to successfully intervene. The students will have mental and emotional efficacy map to do what they have to and reduce the risk of panic which makes us weak. In high schools where girls learn this course, the number of rapes dropped from 20% to less than 10% annually. More than half of the girls had to use the IMpower to stop an assault in the following year. This training has changed the lives of many, and it could change much more.
Taking measures in the right direction is a good thing, and I’m thankful to everyone contributing to make this world a safer place, but I’d rather see a world where women can be respected and free anywhere, anytime.