Anne_Hidalgo,_février_2014Womenability’s report underlines an undisputable fact: nowadays, public space perpetuates existing inequalities between men and women; it serves as a necessary reminder that we cannot do without an in-depth analysis of the place women occupy in the city.

Public space should allow women to exert their fundamental rights, including the right to education, healthcare, work and transportation. Yet women are still forced to develop survival strategies in their own cities; they avoid particular places, use certain transportation modes over others and adapt their clothing out of fear of sexist behaviours and gender-based violence.

As our cities are reinventing themselves to face new social and environmental challenges, it has become all the more urgent to integrate gender inequalities into our thinking.

Fighting inequalities through new urban patterns has been the mission of the formidable Womenability team.

With the help of innovative methods, they have come up very concrete and relevant recommendations; the use of exploratory walks in particular has proved to be very instructive. The engagement of citizens in the project testifies to the aspirations of all citizens for a more inclusive and equalitarian city.

It is not only about security; it is also about giving women visibility in the public space, through the promotion of non-sexist communication, the allocation of female names to streets, squares, and buildings…The report offers a number of precious solutions for a more serene and equally-shared city and I encourage mayors worldwide to draw inspiration from it.

Meanwhile, we need to continue fostering the exchange of best practices among cities. Only through the study of the situation in other countries and the comparison with our realities can we find collective responses to this major challenge of urban reappropriation.

I would like therefore to commend the remarkable work done by Womenability, as I invite leaders and communities across the globe to make their ideas and propositions theirs.

Signature_de_Anne_HidalgoAnne HIDALGO
Mayor of Paris