Why Safe Cities

“The first time it happened I got so afraid that I spent a week at home without going to school. It was already dark. A car stopped ahead of us and the driver started to reverse in our direction. We turned back and he stopped. We were scared to continue. We called my friend’s brother and he came to pick us up. The next time, I was so disturbed I stayed 10 days at home…”

Scarlett, Brazil. Pictured above with her mother Maria.

We need safe cities for women like Scarlett. Will you join campaigners in 18 countries and sign this petition?

Petition: Join campaigners in 18 countries demanding Safe Cities for Women

184 Actions Taken / Goal 1,000


It’s vital that women and girls feel safe to go about their daily lives. That’s why we’re calling on governments to ensure safe routes and public transport to school, work or hospital.

Join campaigners in 18 countries demanding Safe Cities for Women.

We will deliver your message to the United Cities and Local Governments organisation, calling on them to act on violence against women and girls.


To all members of United Cities and Local Governments,

I demand that local governments make cities safe for women.

Women everywhere must have safe routes to school or work and be free to live their lives in safety. Public transport has to be safe and serve the whole community. And adequate street lighting must be installed to ensure women feel and are safe.

Police have to serve everyone in the city equally, and women’s complaints of violence and harassment must be taken seriously.

Women must play a role in the design, planning and updating of public spaces, to ensure everyone is safe in their public spaces.

Please heed our call and act on violence against women in cities and public spaces.

Sign the Petition!

Urban poverty and inequality is increasing sexual violence, harassment and fear in cities. Safe Cities is a campaign which involves 20 ActionAid country organisations. The goal of the campaign is to reduce women’s experience and fear of sexual violence in urban spaces. To do this, the violence must be recognised and acted upon by decision-makers.

Why Safe Cities?

  • According to UN Women, in São Paolo, Brazil, a woman is assaulted every fifteen seconds.
  • In one survey from Cambodia 8% of men reported that they had raped a woman who was not their partner. 5% of men reported that they had participated in gang rape.
  • In Bangladesh over 60% of women interviewed by ActionAid said they would not tell female friends to go to the police if attacked.

Read our Reports

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