Human Lives Human Rights: The United Nations addressed the current state of women’s rights in societies by publishing a report titled “Making cities safer for women: UN report calls for radical rethink”.
Following are the important points of this report:
The UN report calls for a complete review of city design and greater participation of women in urban planning.
Even though they make up half the population, women and girls get a raw deal when it comes to city design: in surveys, around 97 per cent of women in the UK aged 18-24, have complained of sexual harassment in public spaces, whilst in Ireland more than half of women surveyed say they feel unsafe on public transport after dark.
Other issues include a lack of suitable public facilities. for example, one third of women globally say that they don’t have access to adequate toilets.
Only around three per cent of monuments celebrating heroes of the past and present, depict women.
Women are not well represented in key decisions that affect the future environment for all: they only run around one in seven environment ministries, and face barriers in crucial areas such as city planning, construction, and leadership positions.
“Achieving gender equity is integral to each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” declared UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “When cities are largely designed without considering the diverse needs and insights of women of all ages and identities, this can have an adverse impact not only on their lives, but on their families.”
Women need to be actively involved at every stage of city design and planning to ensure that cities are better, more resilient and inclusive for them.
Concrete recommendations include forming city-wide gender equality taskforces, education and development programmes, and creating design action plans.
Cooperation between city authorities and other stakeholders, such as businesses and civil society groups, is also cited as an important element in creating safer, equitable spaces for women and girls.