UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative comes to Winnipeg

un safe cities

Violence against women and girls in public places, especially sexual harassment, is largely neglected by laws and policies.  UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative launched the “Safe Cities Free of Violence Against Women and Girls” in selected cities worldwide in 2010.  Winnipeg has been selected as the first Canadian city to participate in the Initiative.  Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross believes “the Safe Cities Initiative will generate innovative approaches to preventing and reducing harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces.”

This global initiative is at work in India, Egypt, Brazil, Philippines, and many other countries that are at a different level of development than Canada.  “[D]evelopment, democracy and urbanization don’t necessarily guarantee the safety of women and girls,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women.  “We have to work with communities to change harmful social norms and attitudes, and social institutions that discriminate and tolerate violence against women,”

Winnipeg’s involvement in this international project can be a reminder to us all that no matter where we live, no matter how big or small our hometowns may be, we can all be vigilant about providing safe public spaces to women and girls.

Read more about Safe Cities at http://www.gov.mb.ca/msw/publications/un_women_safe_cities_flyer.pdf

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