Safe Cities
General Guidance
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Programming should always focus on both women's and girl's actual safety and women's and girl's perceived sense of safety

Last edited: October 30, 2010

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Action on community safety usually addresses two dimensions; an objective dimension, which is victimization, and a subjective dimension, which is the sense or perception of insecurity through fear and anxiety. However, since people’s feelings of fear and anxiety are real, community safety might also consider fear and anxiety as part of the objective dimension. Moreover, when women and girls are not protected from violence in public or in private spaces, they are more likely to feel afraid, and excluded in their cities. Therefore, although women’s and girls’ perception of insecurity may sometimes not directly correspond with objective events, it can have same consequences. A situation of violence suffered by one woman impacts on all women because all women become aware of the possibility of suffering violence because of their gender - fear is transmitted and can be learned as part of women’s gender roles. For this reason, safe cities programming should address women’s actual and perceived sense of safety.