The GuardianThe Guardian

What would a city that is safe for women look like?

By Amy Fleming

13 Dec 2018 · 8 min read

Sexual violence has rarely been so high on the news agenda. Since allegations against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein started to emerge in October last year, the global problem has finally become a mainstream issue. The United Nations has estimated that one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence, with 120 million girls around the world having been forced into sex acts.

The repercussions go beyond the physical and psychological toll on individuals who have been attacked. Harassment and fear of violence can impede free movement of girls and women and stop them reaching their full potential, both socially and economically. “If women feel afraid,” says Laura Somoggi, who manages the biennial Womanity award for the prevention of violence against women, “it could undermine their ability to work or go to school or university which affects their empowerment, their rights.” Fear of attack is a bar to women escaping poverty.

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