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Programming should focus on creating gender-based/gender-mainstreamed policies and programmes

In order to address the causes of violence against women and girls and women’s and girls’ feelings of insecurity, gender-based policies should be the foundation of a safe cities for women and girls programme. A gender-based policy is a policy that recognizes the inequalities that characterize relations between men and women and is written to proactively address them.  It also recognizes that the different roles assigned to men and women create differences in access to and control of all types of resources (economic and political, among others). A gender-based policy understands that ignoring the different experiences and needs of men and women leads to inequality. Finally, a gender-based policy acknowledges that each action, programme and policy will affect men and women differently. Gender-based policies are designed to benefit both men and women.

When and where gender-based policies and programmes are already active in a community, it is much easier to implement safe cities for women programming (Rainero, L.; Rodigou, M.; Pérez, S., 2006). An already existing network of gender-based initiatives can provide safe cities for women programs with:

  • knowledge about what does and does not work for local women
  • an understanding of how local power and decision-making processes work
  • contacts for resources and advice
  • information on demographics, women’s safety concerns, and the capacities of local women (Ministry of Community Services, British Columbia, 2006).