Almost two thirds of women feel unsafe walking alone after dark
Almost two thirds of adult women (63%) in Britain say they feel unsafe walking alone after dark. Almost half (48%) felt the same way when they were of school age.
This is in contrast to one third (33%) of adult men and (35%) of men when they were of school age. Men and women living in urban areas felt more unsafe than those living in rural areas. *
The poll of 2,009 adults in Britain by global child rights charity, Plan International UK, marks the UN International Day of the Girl Child (11 October).
This year the charity is calling for cities to be safer spaces for women and girls.
The findings also shine a light on the harassment women and girls face in Britain.
4 out of 10 women (40%) admitted they had been whistled at or have received comments of a sexual nature while of school age, compared to less than one in ten men of school age (9%).
3 out of 10 women (32%) say they have experienced it as adults, highlighting that sexual harassment in public spaces starts young and continues throughout women’s lives.
“Public spaces should be safe spaces for girls. It’s unacceptable that women and girls feel this unsafe in our cities and that so many experience street harassment. ”says Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK.
The findings offer a snapshot of a wider picture of girls’ experiences in urban areas across the world.
Previous research by Plan International, Adolescent Girls’ Views on Safety in Cities, revealed that in Delhi, 96% of adolescent girls report they do not feel safe in the city. While in Lima, only 2.2% of girls say they always feeling safe when walking in public spaces.
This year’s Day of the Girl is focused on ending discrimination towards young women and girls, with a long-term aim of achieving gender equality by 2030.
Plan International UK is calling for public spaces across the globe to be safer for girls. The charity will present a petition to the UN Habitat III conference to ensure world experts on cities firmly put girls’ safety at the top of their agenda.
The petition will call for a commitment to safer cities for girls over the next 15 years in order to achieve Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Girls in the UK and abroad shouldn’t have to risk abuse, harassment and feel unsafe when they leave their homes. That’s why we are asking every individual to stand up for girls and sign our petition, says Barron.
“We want to see a world in which decision makers are working together to ensure cities across the world are safe for girls.”
To sign our campaign petition and make cities safer for girls visit, https://plan-uk.org
To support our campaign on social media use the hashtags: #standupforgirls and #safercities