The Gender Equality Act in Victoria creates an obligation to understand how gender affects needs and experiences, and to design, assess and manage public spaces so women feel safe in those places.
Bright lighting alone does not make a space feel safe. It can blind and disorientate and create dark shadows at the edges. Tellingly, ‘unsafe’ places had much higher illuminance than ‘safe’ places.
In the 1970s, a young urban planning professor, Dolores Hayden, believed that city design was the key to unlocking patriarchal structures that trapped women in the home. How much has the city changed?
Survival sex can be a viable option for women managing homelessness. It ranged from staying with men for a night or a woman remaining in a sexual relationship to avoid becoming homeless again.
Men who subscribe to ideological masculinity believe that women’s empowerment has left them victimised and discriminated against. And they play out their resentment through violent acts.
Australia has guidelines for designing safe parks, but the stories of many women show these are not enough. We must involve women in co-designing these shared public spaces.
Laws providing for safe access protect the dignity and safety of staff who need access to their workplace and women who need access to health-care services without harassment and intimidation.
Women encounter many difficulties in cities that are products of male design and planning. We need to move past the practice of one group shaping our world on behalf of everyone else.
Despite the rise of feminism, strip clubs and other ‘sexual entertainment’ businesses have proliferated in our cities. And women are feeling the harmful impacts of the industry’s presence.
Most women feel unsafe when using public transport. Instead of gender segregation, researchers suggest gender-sensitive design could be a better way to ensure safety for all.
Where do women feel safe - or unsafe - in city streets? A new research project has unearthed some disturbing responses.