Safe Cities
General Guidance
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Monitor When, Where and by Whom Violence against Women and Girls Occurs

Last edited: October 30, 2010

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If members of a safe cities for women programme have an idea of a space which may be unsafe, it will probably be useful to test that idea. Go to the space at different times during the day and see who is using it and how they are using it. If more men than women seem to use a park, ask whether or not this might be because it is a place where women feel unsafe. Alternatively, look at the history of the space in question. Ask if there have been incidences of violence in the area, or if there have been any actions in the past by governments, women’s groups or others to draw attention to safety issues in that space.

Example: Sexual And Gender Based Violence In Uganda: Experiences of Sexual Violence among Women and Girls in Pallisa and Kisoro Districts (2009). This baseline report, conducted by Action for Development, provides solid baseline information of girls’ and women’s experiences of sexual violence (both in the home and in public spaces) in two different districts. Several different methodologies were used to collect detailed quantitative and qualitative data: semi-structured interviews with children; key informant interviews; focus group discussions, case studies; document reviews; mapping exercises and surveys. As a result of this research, findings are available in the following areas: understandings of sexual violence; magnitude of sexual violence; frequency of occurrence; forms of sexualized violences; causes of sexualized violence; effects of sexualized violences; existing mechanisms for coping with sexualized violence; and interventions and strategies which currently being used. Available in English.

Mapping Safety” is an example of this kind of observation (see the “Safety Planning for Women” section of “Programme Implementation”.  Look at news stories, books, articles, or other material about violence against women and girls in your city or community. Try and find common themes, findings and entry points across these interviews and sources. For example, if there are several news stories about violent incidents happening around one subway station, it could be an indicator that safe cities programming should focus on that area, or perhaps on the community’s transportation system in general.