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Nairobi, 11 Mar 13

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day celebrated last Friday, UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos reaffirmed his commitment to making cities safe for the women.

He expressed his displeasure that women and girls continue to I to experience various forms of gender-based violence in both private and public life. “On city streets, public spaces and public transportation, women and girls are still subjected to violence and abuse. Such daily occurrences limit the freedoms of women as equal citizens to enjoy their cities, and to exercise their rights to education, work, recreation, mobility, collective organization and participation in social, economic and political life,” he said adding that “today we say enough is enough. We must act decisively, together  with all our partners to end reprehensible acts of violence and discrimination against women and girls.”

He said that whenever he looked at the city, he saw that violence against women remained a largely neglected issue, with few laws or policies in place to address it. 

“Beyond policing, there is a great need to address violence in public spaces, taking a gendered approach and to understand the role urban design, planning and management play in minimizing risks as well as changing perceptions of insecurity. We need to support the development of national urban policies which should provide the institutional and legal framework for addressing women and girls’ safety in the existing borders of cities and towns, but also in the pro-active planning of city extensions,” he said.

For the full statement read here.

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