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Programming should be based on an understanding that men and women have different experiences of living and working in the city (some based on gender inequality)

Safe cities for women programming should recognize that there are many different kinds of violence in cities and communities. It should also recognize that these types of violence affect women and men differently. For example, in public spaces, violence can occur in a subway car in the form of verbal harassment. Violence can also occur in a parking lot in the form of discriminatory graffiti messages. Even a lack of basic urban services, which lead to additional burdens for women, is a form of violence. Public violence can cause women and girls to feel:

  • Ashamed of their bodies, gender, race, age, culture, ability, sexual orientation and other status.
  • Afraid of and avoid certain places.
  • Afraid of and avoid leaving home alone.
  • Isolated from the larger community.
  • Unable to participate in public life.
  • Inadequate compared to other (male) users of public space.
  • Distrust towards others in the public sphere, including neighbours.
  • Unable to access public services, education and support schemes for unemployment (Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, 2002).