Even in the best of times, women are constantly in danger.
In South Africa, one woman is raped every 26 seconds, and only one rape in 36 is reported to the police. In the United States, a woman is physically abused every 9 seconds, and in France, 7 per cent of all rapes occur in the family. In Papua New Guinea, national statistics show that on average, 67 per cent of married women have been the victims of violence inflicted on them by their husbands. In Latin America, one of the most alarming manifestations of violence against women is homicide. In Mexico, according to Amnesty International, around 370 homicides of women have been registered in 10 years. These are just a sampling of the statistics of horror, of the violence women have to contend with daily around the world. The list goes on. Compared to men, women are particularly prone to various forms of violence, whether in the privacy of their own homes, on a city street or anywhere else. In the city, the question of violence is multifaceted, and the issue of primary importance is that of the suitability of public areas for women. Cities need to be more women-friendly. Planners need to consider the comfort and well being of women in the city. (excerpt)