February 26, 2018
Over the next few months, WomenStrong International is focusing our attention on safety and on how urban infrastructure can be improved to reduce violence against women and girls. Our reading, therefore, has been focused on where dangers lie, how we can upgrade the urban environment to design safe
CitiesforWomen, and what we can learn from the experiences of individual women and girls. The stories we’re highlighting provide an overview of the riskiest places, a women-centric approach to creating safe spaces, and the dangers faced by school-age girls from Parkland, Florida, to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The World’s Most Dangerous Megacities for Women
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Cairo, Mexico City, and Delhi made the top of the list in a recent poll released by the Thomson Reuters Foundation identifying the world’s most dangerous large cities for women. The first-of-its-kind poll asked experts which of the world’s megacities are safe for women – and which need to do more to ensure that women are not so vulnerable to sexual violence and harmful cultural practices, while assuring fair access to healthcare, finance, and education.
Stockholm Suburb Is Transforming Public Square With Women in Mind
Hats off to Husby, a Stockholm suburb that is making improvements to enable women to feel safer in public spaces. After working with local women to identify where in the city they feel unsafe and why, local authorities found problem areas included the city square and metro station. In response, the town will be improving street lighting, upgrading its metro station entrance, and making the café in the city square a more welcoming space for women. From New Orleans to Rio, other cities have started discussing how to make city spaces safer for women; the answer begins by listening to women.
Don’t Let My Classmates’ Deaths Be in Vain
New York Times
Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people, Christine Yared, a freshman at the school, wrote a moving piece pleading for her friends’ traumatic deaths to not be in vain. American students like Christine in Parkland, Florida, are now leading the country in the call for stricter gun control. “You need to be an advocate for change. Don’t let any more children suffer like we have. Don’t continue this cycle. Next time it could be your family, your friends, your neighbors. Next time, it could be you,” wrote the 15-year-old survivor.
Yazidi Women Finally Go To School, Defying Former ISIS Rulers — And Their Own Parents
In socially conservative Sinjar province in northern Iraq, girls are expected to stay home and to work in the house or on the farm until they marry as teenagers. Now, more and more young women in the Yazidi community have resolved to take their future into their own hands, trading in their marriage certificates for diplomas. While the path to earning an education in a conflict zone can be long and treacherous, these