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Actionaid launches “Safe Cities” report

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Actionaid Liberia has launched “Safe Cities for Women” report, titled “Freedom to move.”The report, which catalogs public transport situations in several cities, including Dhaka in Bangladesh, Abuja in Nigeria and Sao Paulo in Brazil, calls for gender sensitivity in public transport system by ensuring right and safety of women.

It underscores five key barriers toward gender responsive transportation that need to be targeted, including inappropriate design of urban public transport, unsafe urban public leading to sexual violence and unaffordable and multiple tickets.
Others include unreliable, inadequate and poor quality of transport vehicles, and weak or absence of legal and policy frameworks.
The document recommends that governments around should ensure that public transport is publicly delivered and participatory, accountable and effectively managed. It also wants governments to fund public transport through progressive spending.

Performing the launch recently, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Julia Duncan-Cassel, said the report would not have come at a better time than during 16 Days of Activism here.
She added that it was no mistake, and even necessary that the report was done at her ministry because as the name illustrates, “we are for gender, children and social protection which includes protection for women, girls and people living with disabilities.”
Minister Duncan-Cassell revealed existence of an ongoing negotiation that dictates that every other public building constructed hereafter must be accessible to people with disabilities.
The Gender boss expressed optimism that the discovered mechanism by the Safe Cities report will also be included in the public transport system by the Ministry of Transport and all other public transport functionaries.
Earlier in her introductory and welcome remarks, Actionaid Interim Country Director Lakshmi Moore said, the purpose of the report is to request government to invest more in public transportation by considering challenges that confront women, girls and young people when accessing public transport, and design mechanisms that will help to address said situation.
Presenting an overview of the “Freedom to move” report, acting Head of Programs and Policy/Women Rights Manager at Actionaid, Elizabeth Gbah-Johnson, argued that millions of people make daily use of public transport over half of whom are women, who deliver voluntary services to children, sick people, society and the disabled.

By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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