Making Cities Safer for Women – Bhopal, Gwalior and Jodhpur

The Asia Foundation, with support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and in partnership with the Centre for Social Research (CSR) and Safetipin, completed a two-year project entitled “Making Cities Safe for Women in India.”

The project was conceptualized to understand and address the lack of equitable access of women to enjoy and use public spaces in cities. Since 2017, project interventions focused on women’s safety in three cities: Bhopal and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, and in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. In these cities, the partners collected and collated data on women’s safety perceptions; and facilitated dialogues with law enforcement, city officials, youth, and civil society organizations.

Consultations were held at the city and state level to influence the discourse on how cities can be made more equitable, to benefit women. CSR has worked closely with police departments for several years. Under this project CSR’s role was to address Police Capacity Building and also facilitate dialogue with key stakeholders.

Safety for She – New Delhi

To take the local level dialogues further, the Safety for She: Building Equitable Public Spaces conference was organized in New Delhi. It encapsulated all the work from the ‘Making Cities Safer for Women.’

The one day consultation focused on initiating dialogues with multiple stakeholders such as the police, city governments, policymakers, civil society, youth, and other citizens on the need for women’s safety and their right to accesses and enjoys public spaces.

Through this conference, The Asia Foundation aims to launch a pan-India discourse of how cities can be re-imagined and reshaped to become more accessible, safe, equitable, and enjoyable for everyone, but particularly for women. Creating a united front which includes police departments, city government officials, civil society, and young people is key in order to bring forth a set of actionable recommendations which can be taken up to ensure that urban spaces grow and evolve in a way that is inclusive and gender equitable.

Centre for Social Research undertook Desk Review and Training Needs Assessment Exercise to conduct gender sensitization workshops for police officers. These workshops also resulted in the creation of the Police Training Manual, titled, Gender Sensitive Policing in Public Spaces, which were launched in the Conference.