Non-governmental organisation (NGO) ActionAid South Africa, on Monday called on governments worldwide to end violence against women. This follows the findings of a new report, which is to be handed to United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) president Parks Tau, at Constitutional Hill, in Johannesburg, tomorrow.
ActionAid said together with Young Urban Women and Activista South Africa, they will present the report findings and recommendations to Tau, calling on him to use his power as UCLG president, to pressure international members to end violence against women in public spaces and ensure public services are available, accessible, good quality and responsive to women’s needs.
The report ‘Whose City?’ which has been produced by ActionAid as part of the Safe Cities for Women campaign, aims to advance women’s rights in urban spaces.
The report evaluates women’s safety in urban spaces in ten countries - Bangladesh, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Liberia, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe, said ActionAid.
The launch of the report forms part of 16 Days of Activism around the world, where supporters will call on their governments to put concrete measures in place to protect women in cities.
ActionAid head of programmes Emily Craven said women’s freedom to move around and enjoy the cities they live in is restricted and their participation in civic life limited because of daily harassment and violence.
“Violence cannot be reduced unless women’s experiences and voices are put at the centre of planning public infrastructure and services like lighting, housing, public transport and security,” added Craven.
Governments agreed in 2016, on a ‘new urban agenda’ for sustainable cities to support the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
The NGO concluded that with this report they are urging governments to take action now by building inclusive and safe cities that protect the rights of women.