Women's safety audits.
Violence against women, be it threats, intimidation, harassment, sexual attacks or rape, considerably inhibits women’s mobility within the city. Women are targets of violence due to their vulnerability, and this vulnerability perpetuates their position in society. This means that in large cities, most women restrict their movements or activities because they feel unsafe. This daily experience of insecurity makes them infinitely qualified to detect problems and offer solutions. One of the ways in which women can feel safer and fully benefit from the services and resources cities have to offer is to actively go about changing their environment together with municipal authorities and other community institutions and groups. A Women’s Safety Audit is a tool that enables a critical evaluation of the urban environment. This tool was initiated in Canada following the recommendations of a report in 1989 on violence against women and has been further developed by UN-HABITAT’s Safer Cities programme. (excerpt)