Everyone deserves to feel safe in the city they live in. However, women have an extra price to pay for their independence and freedom to enjoy their daily activities and professional life.
Unfortunately, society still holds women accountable for their own safeguarding measures and they are expected to change their behaviour to avoid harassment, cyber-flashing, domestic abuse and in the absolute worst of cases, rape or murder. This is known as the Women’s Safety Tax. It represents the loss of time and resources necessary for precautions like taking a longer route back home on well-lit streets or paying for a private taxi which tracks your location from door-to-door.
For the first time, the ONS has asked people about feelings of personal safety. The findings are alarming: around a third of women had experienced harassment in the past year and half of women feel unsafe after nightfall, whether in busy public place or a quiet street near their home, compared to only 19 per cent of men.
Several measures have recently been introduced by the Mayor of London to help raise awareness and encourage positive action to reduce violence against women and girls, including a recently launched campaign calling on men to #HaveAWord with themselves, and creating a Women’s Night Safety Charter. While these are welcome and impactful steps toward a solution, how much will they cut the tax that women must pay to ensure their own safety?
This webinar saw local campaigners, community voices and policing experts discuss:
- What impact have these awareness campaigns had on society? Are attitudes changing – among women and men – about women’s safety?
- What is needed in terms of policing and law enforcement to cut the safety tax for women?
- How do women harness the support of their communities and allies in addressing their concerns about feeling safe in London?
- Chair: Claire Harding, Research Director, Centre for London
- Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Greater London Authority
- Dr. Stephen Burrell, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Durham University & Trustee, White Ribbon UK
- Rachel Williams, Commander, Metropolitan Police Service
- Judith Banjoko, Interim CEO, Solace Women’s Aid
You can catch up on the event by clicking here: