Safe Cities
General Guidance
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Last edited: October 30, 2010

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Each city and community is distinct – each has its own people, physical spaces, government structures, values and history. Therefore, each city and community will have its own particular safety problems, some of which will be more important for the community to deal with right away than others. At first, identifying factors that make women and girls insecure in the city and community may seem like a difficult task. This task can be much easier if community decision-makers and community organizations work with women and girls to identify the places, circumstances and issues that cause the greatest sense of insecurity. The process of working with women and girls to identify problems is called participatory diagnosis. Participatory diagnoses are important because they give women and girls a chance to tell the community what makes them feel insecure and what kinds of violence they face.

Identifying safety problems is an important early step in programme design, because action in all other areas (including raising awareness, urban planning and design, transportation planning, and municipal policy-making) are directed towards finding solutions for each community’s priority issues. Thus, safe cities for women programme partners should have a clear understanding of what safety issues exist and what safety issues are most important to address before they take any further action.


"Clouds in Egypt's Sky" Sexual Harassment: From Verbal Harassment to Rape (2008). This report, produced by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights, demonstrates how data collected on sexual harassment can be formulated, analysed and presented to demonstrate the negative effects on women's lives. Available in English and Arabic