The voices of Belo Horizonte's women Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL

PROJECT OVERVIEW: In Belo Horizonte, women and girls face violence not only in their homes and relationships, but also in public spaces in the city. One of the factors that aggravate such a scenario is the lack of gender perspectives in urban planning. Whether due to intimidation, harassment, or rape, all violence contributes to women's displacement and limits their economic opportunities and their right to the city. These facts lead to a deeper reflection on where women are allowed in their own cities - “where”, “how” and “when” she is welcome to walk and move around. To understand how to plan and manage urban environments so that they are safe and inclusive for women and girls, managers and planners must have accurate information about women’s experiences in the city. The best way to do this is by consulting and making them an integral part of the decision-making process. The Women's Safety Audit responds to these concerns. It is a participatory methodology designed to: 1. Provide detailed information on women's security issues within a given space; 2. Generate recommendations for improvement; 3. Empower women to work with local decision-makers to advocate for positive change in the community. In addition, two other axes guide this project: giving lessons on gender perspectives in urban planning for the new generation of engineers and architects at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and holding workshops with local authorities to create mechanisms that facilitate the reporting of sexual harassment in the city.

CATEGORY: Professional SETTING: Urban STATUS: Current Project

BY:UN SDSN - Local Pathways Fellowship

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: We are hosting a series of workshops focused on capacity building with local authorities - including the city council, the city guard and the urban planning office - to share ideas, tactics, and a unified vision towards a women-led city. The workshop, "Implementing Women Safety Audits in Public Spaces," is where women can evaluate public spaces and recommend changes to their physical environment. Also, we are partnering with civil society organizations, such as BH em Ciclo, Instituto Nossa BH, Tarifa Zero, to create a common agenda to combat harassment in the city. It is crucial to engage architecture and engineering students to not only pass on a gender perspective, but also to enable them to conduct Women's Safety Audits in the future.

PARTNERS: BH em Ciclo – support for the strategic organization of Women's Safety Audits; Nossa BH – support for the logistical and financial organization of Women's Safety Audits; UN Habitat – institutional support for the Women's Safety Audit to be held at UFMG's university campus; BH Trans (Belo Horizonte Transport Operator) - Institutional and financial support in the construction of initiatives to facilitate reports of sexual harassment in public spaces and transportation.; Gender Equity Committee - institutional and financial support for the organization of the seminar “Dialogue for Equity: public policies and citizenship in Belo Horizonte”; City Council Women's Commission - support in the organization of the seminar and workshops “For the Life of Women: Feminicide and Mobility”