In Delhi, 95% of women asked feel unsafe on public transport. In the USA, 80% of women surveyed have been harassed by a male stranger. Girls are known to use public parks far less than boys after the age of 9 years. There are many other examples of such Everyday Sexism in towns and cities, so it was good to read about the TRUST WOMEN international conference which took place this month, with lots of ideas and solutions in different settings around the world.
The growth of urbanisation and mega-cities means that more women than ever are living in cities, and especially in mega-cities. The challenge now is for us, men and women, to make these cities work for everyone, and not just for men. The conference covered many experiences and solutions already in place, and these are via the link below.
For me, if I was to highlight one point it would be – the importance of employing women in roles of authority to visibly manage public spaces, from tram inspectors to parks officers to visitor guides, and more. I feel we have gone a bit too far down the CCTV and gadgets route, and lost something of the human, the role model for girls walking to school, the ability to intervene, challenge and remove that urban sexism everyday.