United States Promotes Safer Cities for Women

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Delhi - The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced a $250,000 grant to the organization UN Women, which is a part of the United Nations' Women's Global Safe Cities Initiative. The grant is for the ongoing program "Delhi Safe City - Free of Violence against Women and Girls," that will be implemented in partnership with Indian civil society organizations. This announcement comes in the same month as the International Day of the Girl Child and on the eve of the international community's 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence beginning late November.

U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said, "The United States recognizes gender-based violence as one of the most debilitating factors impeding a woman's active participation in any economy in the world and her ability to access resources and services. We are pleased to partner with UN Women to help promote safe cities and reduce gender-based violence, which plagues every country in the world."

Working with local urban civic planning, public transport, education, urban infrastructure authorities, and civil society, the Delhi Safe City program focuses on increasing safety among women and girls. It also works to help prevent and reduce violence, including sexual harassment, in public spaces. The program encourages municipalities and their partners to take action, such as improving lighting on streets and designing new public safety plans that focus on women and girls. It also engages men and boys as critical partners in preventing violence, and partners with schools and colleges to create awareness and to organize campaigns for safer cities for women and girls.

Dr. Rebecca Tavares, the UN Women Representative covering India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, welcomed the grant saying "Such a grant will go a long way in ensuring women's right to the city and the right to be free of fear. The Safe Cities program is working towards creating a greater sense of safety and increased comfort of women and girls in public spaces. By changing mindsets and improving urban infrastructure, we can surely turn the tide. Violence against women is preventable and not inevitable."

Media inquiries:

Sabrina Sidhu, UN Women Communications and Information Officer, Email: sabrina.sidhu@unwomen.org, Tel: +91-9818717522