Poverty Charity Promotes Safe Cities Campaign
The public services we take for granted in the UK are something we regularly complain about.
But can you imagine what it is like for other people where the countries are no where near as developed. Things like road lights, public transport and sanitation are lacking or of poor quality in many of the world's poorer countries.
It has been found that the absence of access to these is putting women and girls in dangerous situations as they attempt to go about their daily business in there travel to work or places of education.
Because of intense pressure to earn extra income to send home to their families many women have no choice but to take on jobs where working conditions are not safe and where travel to and from the workplace places them at risk of other dangerous like violence or sexual harassment.
The absence of decent policing certainly does not help with matters and studies conducted by poverty charity ActionAid showed that the police forces do not even patrol the dangerous areas in many of the cities where women and girls are known to be at risk.
This creates a lack of trust and faith in the police which leaves many crimes and abuses going totally unreported. The lack of trust is amplified when, on the occassions that women from poor communities do come forward to report crimes or attacks they are met with a police force all to unwilling to take forward their allegations to investigation or prosecution.
ActionAid say that the following actions need to be taken to help things change:
- New laws need to be made that commit to protection of women and girls from violence in public spaces
- A process needs to be put in place that makes complaints or reportings of crime accessible and effective for the most marginalised women and girls
- Governments and local authorities must commit to putting in place effective essential public services like lighting, public toilets, safe houses and transport that will deter crimes and abuses against women.
- All providers of public services must commit to ensure that staff are trained to spot and stop harassment and violence against women and girls
- Women and girls must be empowered to get together to make demands on their rights on all issues that relate to their safety
ActionAid have a programme known as the Safe Cities Initiatve' which aims to highlight and address these problems. 'Safe Cities' works with local communities to understand the issues and make a strategy for change