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Engage actors in different sectors of society

Communities usually have a set of leaders that are trusted and respected who can help shape public opinion among community members (Michau, 2007, 106). Such leaders could be government officials, celebrities, elders, community organizers, business owners, sports coaches, among others with significant public influence and a good reputation. This should include men leaders who can especially influence men’s attitudes and behaviours about equality issues and gender-based violence, and similarly, public figures who may be especially effective in reaching young people of both sexes.  A safe cities for women programme should work with leaders in several areas in order to reach and inspire as many people as possible. Also, because leaders know segments of the community very well, they can help decide on what kinds of public action on safe cities for women will be both feasible and popular.

Example: “Checklist for Building Networks of Leaders within the Community”

1.        Look beyond traditional leaders

2.        Encourage youth leaders

3.        Identify leadership roles for men [and women] committed to ending violence

4.        Recruit at community and civic meetings

5.        Provide leadership training

6.        Develop teams of leaders

7.        Be ready to relinquish some power

Source: Mitchell-Clark, K. and A. Autry. 2004. Preventing Family Violence: Lessons from the Community Engagement Initiative. Family Violence Prevention Fund. San Francisco, USA: page 18. Available in English.