Third International Conference on Woman’s Safety

Third International Conference on Women’s Safety – Building Inclusive Cities (2010)


Women in Cities International and Jagori co-organized the Third International Conference on Women’s Safety: Building Inclusive Cities in New Delhi, India from November 22 – 24, 2010. The event brought together international actors in the field of women’s safety for exchange and debate on key topics in current practice. A variety of sessions, including keynote presentations, skills-building workshops, panel presentations, and collective visioning exercises maximized opportunities for knowledge-sharing, capacity-building and networking. The Third International Conference on Women’s Safety was an important opportunity for representatives from women’s and community organizations, municipal and national governments, UN agencies, grassroots women, researchers, experts, and academics to work together and build upon the global movement towards the creation of safer and more gender-inclusive cities and communities. UN-Habitat, the Huairou Commission, UN Women and Red Mujer y Habitat de America Latina were supporting partners for this conference.

The objectives of the Third International Conference on Women’s Safety were:

  • to review, analyze and consolidate different approaches/tools aimed at building safe and inclusive cities free of violence against women;
  • to build strong capacity within local-level civil society in order to mobilize community-wide support for action towards building safe and inclusive cities free of violence against women;
  • to assess and disseminate lessons learned and good practices developed on enhancing women’s inclusion and right to the city.

Topics covered during the conference included:

  • Urban Planning and Design
  • Women’s Safety and the City
  • Involving the Most Marginal in the Safe Cities for Women Movement
  • Policies and Resources
  • Evaluating Safe Cities for Women Initiatives
  • Women’s Safety and Public Transportation
  • Artistic/Creative Expressions of Women’s Safety
  • Inner City Issues Around Women’s Safety
  • Using the Gender Equality and Inclusion Lens
  • Water, Sanitation, and Women’s Safety

Click here to read the Concept Note from the Third International Conference on Women’s Safety.

to watch highlights from the Third International Conference on Women’s Safety on the Women in Cities International Youtube Channel.


Moderator: Kamla Bhasin (Advisor,South Asian Network of Gender Activists & Trainers (SANGAT), New Delhi, India)
Speakers: Kiran Walia (Honorable Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, India)
Axumite Gebre-Egziabher (Director, Global Division, UN-HABITAT, Nairobi, Kenya)
Inés Alberdi (Executive Director, UNIFEM(part of UN Women), New York, USA)
Marisa Canuto (Executive Director, Women in Cities International, Montréal, Canada)
Suneeta Dhar (Director, Jagori,New Delhi, India)
Sarah Silliman (Director of Programmes, Huairou, Commission, New York, USA)
Sunita (Community Activist, Jagori, New Delhi, India)

Seminar Proceedings





Carolyn Whitzman
University of Melbourne
Realizing the Right to the City: A History of the Safe Cities for Women Movement Melbourne, Australia
Patricia Morey
University of Cordoba
From Montréal to Bogotá to Delhi: Key Advances and Challenges
(Text not available)
Cordoba, Argentina
Kathryn Travers
Women in Cities International

Kalpana Viswanath
Women in Cities International/Jagori

Building Inclusive Cities Montréal, Canada

Delhi, India


Pregs Govender South African Human Rights Commission Keynote Presentation: An Inclusive City
(Text not available)
Cape Town, South Africa
Barbara Holtmann
Meraka Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Visioning Exercise: Communities of Opportunity Johannesburg, South Africa


Yadira Gutierrez Gonzalez
Cascajal´s Water Supply System Organization: AQUACOL, The Association of Community Water Supply and Sanitation Public Service Organizations
Women’s Participation in WATSAN in Peri-urban Communities in Colombia
(Available in Spanish only)
Casa, Colombia
Surabhi Tandon Mehrotra
The Action Research Project on Women’s Rights and Access to Water and Sanitation in Asian Cities New Delhi, India
Swapna Bist-Joshi
WATSAN: A Gender Budget Analysis Ghaziabad, India
Somya Sethuraman
Transparent Chennai
Transparent Chennai: Maps, Data, Insights Chennai, India


Chang yeun Kim
Seoul Foundation of Women and Family
Seoul City Safety Audits: Focusing on Disabled Women and Migrant Women Workers Seoul, South Korea
Rabura Aiga
National Capital District Commission’s Yumi Lukautim Mosbi
Local Policies and Programs Aimed at Improving Women’s Safety Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Lillian Lih-Rong Wang
National Taiwan University
Toward an Integrated Model: Creating Safer and Better Lives for Women in Taipei: Policies, Programmes and Practices Taipei, Taiwan


Kou Sina
Urban Poor Women Development
Fighting Displacement and Securing Tenure: Safeguards against Violence against women Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Emma Manjares
Fighting Displacement and Securing Tenure: Safeguards against Violence against Women
(Text not available)
Jane Nyokabi
Fighting Displacement and Securing Tenure: Safeguards against Violence against Women Nairobi, Kenya
Dunu Roy
Hazards Centre
Displacement and Tenure: The Struggle against Violence Delhi, India


Holly Kearl
American Association of University Women
Migration, Accessibility, Transportation and Security: Women on the Move Washington, USA
Mary Ikupu
Women with Disabilities Network
Women with Disabilities Network Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea


Shilpa Phadke
Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Reflecting on the Ideological in Planning and Design: Some Notes from Mumbai Mumbai, India
Salma Awwal Shafi
Centre for Urban Studies
Women’s Safety in Relation to Issues of Urbanization, Land Tenure, Social and Physical Infrastructure Development: Case of Dhaka City Dhaka, Bangladesh
Paola Blanes
CISCSA-Red Mujer y Hábitat de América Latina
Women’s Safety Audits as a Key Tool for Building Safer Cities for Women and for Everyone Cordoba, Argentina
Dina Shehayeb
Shehayeb CONSULT
Mainstreaming Women’s Safety in City Design: Concepts, Challenges and Tools Cairo, Egypt


Deivid Rojas
Founder, Taller de Paz
Inclusive Local Decision-Making Processes Bogota, Colombia
Jane Torney
Safer Communities and Health Promotion Project, Maribyrnong City Council
Maribyrnong Respect and Equity: Preventing Violence against Women Maribyrnong, Australia


Florencia G. Casanova-Dorotan
National Anti-Poverty Commission
The Case of Women Informal Workers in Quezon City, Philippines Manila, Philippines
Shireen Lateef
Asian Development Bank
Mainstreaming Gender in Urban Development Projects Manila, Philippines
Ana Loyoza de Laurante
Bancos Communales
Central Community Bank’s Experiences in Micro Credit and Women’s Safety Peru
Jahnavi Dave
Self-Employed Women’s Association
Economics of Safe Cities Ahmedabad, India


Elena Supal Williams
Fundación Guatemala
Building Effective Partnerships: Fundacion Guatemala Guatemala
Byron Amilcar Solares
Departmental Government of Izabal
Safer Cities for Women and Girls at Izabal, Guatemala Izabal, Guatemala


Neusa Pivatto Muller
National Secretary of Security, National Women of Peace Project
Government Actions For Women In Brazil / Women of Peace Project Brazil


Fanie St-Michel
Conscience Urbaine
Conscience Urbaine Montréal, Canada


Penny Parenzee
ON PAR Development
Evaluating Safe Cities for Women and Girls Initiatives: Perspectives of a Researcher Cape Town, South Africa
Monique Randriamandrato Rakotoarison
Evaluating Safe Cities for Women and Girls Initiatives Madagascar
Katherine Hay
Evaluation Unit, International Development Research Centre
A Healthy Discomfort?: Development, Feminism, and Evaluation India
Mamta Kohli
Development for International Development
Evaluating Safe Cities for Women and Girls Initiatives

Financial Assistance Provided By:

Government of Canada – International Development Research Centre

UNIFEM (part of UN Women)


Interchurch organization for development cooperation (ICCO)

Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst – EED

Department for International Development



We are women, girls and men in all our diversity, meeting in New Delhi on the occasion of the Third International Conference on Women’s Safety, November 22nd to 24th, 2010.We are representatives of women’s organizations and networks, grassroots, community and nongovernmental organizations, cities and municipalities, police services, government departments and institutions, research communities, international networks and United Nations agencies, from 45 countries* and 81 cities.

We call for action, building on international commitments on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, with particular emphasis on ending violence against women and girls, including CEDAW (1979); the Beijing Platform for Action (1995); the Habitat Agenda (1996); and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000); the UN Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (2008); and the recommendations from the Montréal Declaration on Women’s Safety (First International Seminar on Women’s Safety, 2002) and the Declaration of Bogotá Safe Cities for Women and Girls (Second International Conference on Safer Cities for Women and Girls, 2004).


Violence against women and girls constitutes a human rights violation and continues to be an obstacle to reaching gender equality and equity, peace and sustainable development;

Women’s diverse experiences of city life are affected by gender-based discrimination and abuse in public and private spaces, including exclusion from political and socio-economic participation, as well as limited access to essential services and infrastructure.


A holistic approach to preventing violence against women and girls in public and private spaces must put women and girls at the centre of the action, challenge local, societal and political attitudes that uphold unequal relationships between men and women, and aim to reinforce the capacity of women’s and girls’ individual and collective actions while respecting local values, knowledge and expertise;

Good urban governance is a prerequisite to the empowerment of women and girls. This must include, amongst other components, the allocation of equitable resources to women’s organizations and public service providers in order to meet the safety, health, housing, education, employment and recreation needs of diverse women and girls;

Women’s and girls’ right to the city includes the right to live free from violence and fear, in more equitable, democratic and inclusive cities. Women and girls have the right to participate and be part of decision-making processes in local governance, urban planning and management;

Coordinated approaches to prevention and intervention, including partnerships and the pooling of resources, are essential principles for effective action on diverse women’s and girls’ safety and for effecting cultural change.


Inclusive cities, in an inclusive state and world, respectful of the diversity and dignity of all. Communities where women and girls are central to the design and leadership of cities and are visible in all aspects of governance;

Inclusive cities that allow movement, day and night, to all parts of the city for all women and girls, including the poor and those with disabilities and special needs, so that they have equitable access to water, sanitation, transport, energy, secure tenure and housing, economic development and recreation;

Inclusive cities that ensure the enjoyment of social, economic and cultural rights among all citizens, including women and girls;

Inclusive cities where women and girls are able to live free from violence and the fear of violence in the private, domestic sphere and in all public spaces.


Cities are complex and often fragile social systems. Becoming more inclusive requires recognition of the mutual dependencies between contexts, policies, law and action across all sectors, as well as between local, national and global priorities;

There is increased willingness to acknowledge and implement international conventions among national governments, UN agencies and development partners to address issues of growing social and economic inequalities, trafficking of women and girls, Indigenous women, internally displaced persons, homelessness, women in conflict situations, migrants, refugees, and persons with disabilities;

There is active promotion of women’s and girls’ safety through campaigns led by grassroots and women’s organizations, NGOs, international bodies, and governments to raise awareness of the importance of women’s and girls’ safety, and through the development of practice compendia, toolkits and guidelines to assist governments at all levels to mainstream gender into planning processes and service delivery;

Collaboration to address women’s safety, violence against women and girls and gender mainstreaming is increasing between local authorities, grassroots and women’s organizations and networks, universities, and Women’s Affairs Ministries at all levels of government;

There is increased knowledge about and application of women’s safety tools and methodologies such as safety audits and local-to-local dialogues, which are adaptable and flexible with regard to different local, national and regional contexts;

There is increased use of technologies that provide new opportunities for networking, learning, sharing and generating collective ideas and strategies among women and girls.


National and Sub-Regional Governments to:

Develop and strengthen policies and programmes, and allocate resources to adequately and effectively address the causes, consequences, and impacts of all forms of violence against women and girls, with specific attention to:

Increase diverse women’s participation and leadership and support girls’ active and meaningful involvement in political processes and decision-making;

Promote the security of tenure, land, housing, and property rights, including policies and guidelines for just, fair and proper consultations between communities and governments on legal evictions and resettlement negotiations;

Collect, analyze and disseminate accurate data at the national and city level, disaggregated by sex and age and other relevant variables (e.g. ethnicity, religious affiliation, physical capacity);

Support gender equity, empowerment of women and girls, gender awareness-raising and capacity-building through gender and diversity mainstreaming and gender budgeting at national, state and local levels;

Establish benchmarks, in collaboration with women’s groups and partners, on monitoring and evaluating the progress of policies, programmes, initiatives and outcomes aimed at combating violence against women and girls;

Strengthen partnerships and alliances with women’s networks, NGOs and other civil society groups, in recognition of their ongoing work, expertise and knowledge;

Provide adequate social services and support for diverse women who work outside the home, including child care services (day and night), maternity and paternity leave;

Provide adequate treatment and emergency shelter, including transition housing, for women and their children who have been victims of violence, as well as social services that ensure a safer transition;

Establish and uphold strict laws to criminalize violence against women and girls, both in private and public spaces;

Develop policies and strategies to prevent violence against women and girls, based on a strong evidence base of the determinants of gender based violence;

Develop training and capacity-building for government employees in all relevant sectors in relation to women’s safety and its prevention and treatment.

Local Governments to:

Develop and commit to meaningful municipality-wide plans and initiatives which address women’s safety, social prevention, environmental design and management, and create an enabling environment for effective criminal justice processes;

Guarantee participatory decision-making processes by establishing mechanisms that ensure the active and effective participation of women and communities and include the unique perspectives of girls in policy, planning and resource allocation and support women to run for local governance structures;

Allocate resources for safe spaces in cities for girls and women to organize, recreate and meet, and to take other measures which support the building of women’s and girls’ confidence, self-esteem, and capacity to participate in public life taking into consideration girl’s unique vulnerabilities in the city;

Assess the degree to which gender and diversity have been mainstreamed into decision-making practices, policies and services and collect data about women and girls so that their distinctive experiences and vulnerabilities can be examined and addressed;

Collect, analyze and disseminate accurate data at the national and city level, disaggregated by sex and age and other relevant variables (e.g. ethnicity, religious affiliation, physical capacity);

Provide reliable and safe transport for diverse women and girls so they can freely access school, home, work, health and recreation facilities and government offices at all times of the day and night;

Ensure the provision of adequate treatment and emergency shelter, transition housing and social services for women and their children victims of violence, either through public services or by funding civil society and NGO services;

Develop training and capacity-building across all relevant municipal sectors in the prevention and treatment of violence against women in both private and public settings.

UN Agencies and International Organizations to:

Incorporate women’s and girls’ safety and security in public spaces into UN supported programmes on gender equality, violence against women and girls, governance and the empowerment of women and girls;

Allocate resources to and provide support for the ongoing work of women’s movements and organizations working to promote women’s and girls’ safety and security in cities at both the global and regional level;

Work in partnership with women’s movements and organizations, local and national governments, NGOs and business and the private sector to promote UN norms and standards and programmes on gender equality, violence against women and girls, the empowerment of women and girls, and governance;

Collect, analyze and disseminate accurate data at the international, national and city level, disaggregated by sex and age and other relevant variables (e.g. ethnicity, religious affiliation, physical capacity).

NGOs (Women’s Organizations, Grassroots and Community-Based Organizations, Human Rights Organizations) to:

Continue to acknowledge and promote the needs and experiences of women and girls from diverse backgrounds, through such practices and tools as local-to-local dialogues and women’s safety audits, which create spaces for discussion between women and girls and other decision-makers on sustainable urban development issues, including employment, health, urban planning, secure tenure, access to basic services, gender-based violence, climate change and education;

Strengthen and enhance partnerships at local, national and international levels to promote women’s and girls’ empowerment and leadership through knowledge production and exchange, community mobilization and advocacy, and capacity-building;

Continue to build the capacity of local governments and other stakeholders so that they are able to incorporate a gender and diversity perspective into their respective policies and programmes;

Monitor and hold governments accountable for the implementation of policies and programmes designed to reduce violence and enhance the safety of diverse women and girls;

Contribute to changing cultures of patriarchy and oppression, through early childhood gender and diversity education, and work to engage men and boys in women’s safety partnerships, with the support of male champions;

Provide possibilities for poor women and girls to harness the opportunities presented by technology and ensure that the negative impacts of technology for women and girls are mitigated.

Business and the Private Sector to:

Develop and promote affordable and equitable policies, services and programmes that address women’s and girls’ safety and other human rights;

Ensure effective consultation with community members and local authorities during the design and implementation of infrastructure development programmes;

Establish partnerships with women’s organizations and communities in order to build their capacities for gender and diversity mainstreaming and empowerment of women and girls;

Promote gender responsive corporate responsibility policies that recognize and address the different needs of women and men, girls and boys and support issues of women’s and girls’ safety and security.

Donors to:

Support NGOs, especially women’s organizations and networks, in scaling up practical strategies, tools and mobilization efforts with equitable resources to benchmark, monitor, and assess outcomes and progress;

Support collaborative partnerships with multiple stakeholders that build synergy, coordinate efforts and sustain women’s safety initiatives in the long term;

Ensure resources are committed to grassroots and community-based efforts in empowering diverse women and girls to address insecurity and build safe and inclusive communities.

Media to:

Develop articles and programming that promotes positive attitudes toward women, girls masculinity, relationships, and successful women’s safety initiatives;

Use news programming, alternative and new media to increase public awareness of the negative impacts of violence against women and girls on victims and on the community;

Work with the community to promote the prevention of violence against women and girls and enhance women’s and girls’ safety, and cultivate partnerships with community groups to develop prevention initiatives;

Encourage schools to develop media education and media literacy programmes for their pupils, and encourage them to challenge media stereotypes and representations of violence;

Participate in multi-sectoral partnerships to monitor and prevent the spread of violent crime through the new media (e.g. online sexual exploitation, grooming, hate crimes, etc);

Recruit more women and girls from diverse backgrounds to challenge the way women and girls, gender equality and women’s safety are represented in the media, and to ensure them greater voice.

Universities, Research and Training Institutions to:

Establish partnerships with governments, civil society and gender and diversity experts in order to support the implementation and evaluation of projects, and increase the availability of research on promising and effective practices and tools on women’s and girls’ safety, inclusion and empowerment;

Develop curricula and offer regular training on the interrelationships between gender and diversity and urban planning and architecture, good governance, and women’s and girls’ safety.

Click here to download a PDF version of the Delhi Declaration.

* Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Click here to download the French version.

Click here to download the Spanish version.