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Kabul, 28 Oct 13
Over 200 women"s rights and civil society activists marched in the streets of the Afghan capital, Kabul on Sunday in order to raise awareness about sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public places in Afghanistan.

The theme of the march – organized as part of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon"s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign which proclaimed 25th of every month as "Orange Day" - was "Safe Spaces for Women and Girls."

Un-Habitat was part of the United Nations bodies that participated in the event. Other agencies were UN Women, UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Afghan Women"s Network. The march also received support from the Afghan Ministry of Women"s Affairs and the Kabul Municipality.

In Nairobi, UN-Habitat"s hour of participation in the OrangedayTweetathon – Making Public spaces safer for women and girls on 25 October 2013 attracted vibrant discussions and responses on facts, statistics presented about Women and Girl safety in cities today. The main statements of reflection posed were: What can be done to make public spaces safer?

  • Here below are some of the comments from those who followed the conversation:
  • Violence makes up at least 25% of urban crime and women are twice as likely to be victims of violence aggression as men
  • I am a city changer and I actively support an end to violence against women
  • There is no such thing as this is for men and this is for women
  • Many believe that women and girls deserve to be raped, if out at night. Shocked? We have a long way to go before we have safer cities - Sadly, it"s not shocking but it"s enraging.
  • I guess there was a world where trust was a given,. Today it isn"t so. Be careful but not afraid to love. Good is in the majority
  • Violence and the fear of violence reduces women"s freedom of movement and can restrict their participation in political life
  • We give life. What makes us stop living life? Live and love life on your own terms
  • Show who you really are, feel it from inside don"t worry what people think, they ain"t important, you are
  • Let"s create a society where women are not killed for honor, but honoured for life .
What can be done to make public spaces safer?

  •  Need for change on how media frames reports on violence against women and girls - http://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue.html
  • Need to make sure boys and men understand that harassment is not a compliment
  • Female cab drivers at night should have their cabs monitored. Maybe have sirens installed too
  • Mobilization of local municipalities to make public spaces safer for women and girls
  • Women and girls safety needs to be incorporated into urban planning to end violence
  • No safety programme will work if women are divided. Our thinking has to change
  • A call for disaster response to address specific needs of women and girls
  • ";Autowallahs"; need strict surveillance. Never feel safe in an auto once its dark
  • Increasing space for women and especially children
  • Women participating in urban planning and design
  • One of the ignored issues – public toilets should be gender friendly for safe cities. Example in  South Asia where women suffer due to this
  • Mobilize community leaders to make public spaces safe for women and girls
  • Technology must empower citizens http://pfdmedia.com/read-online/ct_11_eng_sep_2013/index.html?page=4

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