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Gender Ministry, Actionaid Launch Safe Cities Report
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, December 8 (LINA) - The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the international NGO, Actionaid, Thursday launched the “Safe Cities for Women” report titled “Freedom to move.”
The report, which catalogs the public transport situation in several cities, including Dhaka in Bangladesh, Abuja in Nigeria and Sao Paulo in Brazil, is calling for a gender sensitive public transport system in which the right and safety of women are assured.
The report outlines that the five key barriers to gender responsive transportation that need to be addressed include inappropriate design of urban public transport, unsafe urban public transport leading to sexual violence and unaffordable and multiple tickets.
Others include unreliable, inadequate and poor quality transport vehicles and weak or absent legal and policy frameworks.
It recommends that governments ensure that public transport is publicly delivered, that governments ensure that public transport is participatory, accountable and effectively managed and that governments ensure that public transport is publicly funded through progressive spending.
Performing the launch, Gender Minister Julia Duncan-Cassel said the report would not have come at a better time than during the 16 Days of Activisms.
“It is no mistake that you came to this ministry to launch this report because as the name illustrates, we are for Gender, Children and Social Protection which includes the protection of women, girls and people living with disabilities,” Minister Duncan Cassel noted.
She revealed the existence of an ongoing negotiation that dictates that every other public building constructed hereafter must be accessible to those with disabilities.
The Gender Ministry boss hoped that the discovered mechanism by the Safe Cities report will also be included into 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 into public transport by considering challenges women, girls and young people face when accessing public transport, and design measures that address them.
Presenting the 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, the sick, society and the disabled.