Cities Without Violence Against Women are Safer Cities for All: Fighting Gender-Based Violence in Urban Areas

Anabella Cerezo


The experience of “Safer Cities” takes place in Guatemala where, after more than three decades of internal conflict and fifteen years after the signing of peace agreements, insecurity, violence, and poverty mainly affect women, at home and in the public arena. This project takes place in the capital Guatemala City and in Livingston, on the Caribbean coast, in coordination with the global campaign "Join us: No more violence against women" Borrowing from experiences throughout Latin America, it develops specific models and tools to prevent and contain violence primarily empowering women as citizens who actively participate in planning and managing the public urban space. The model favors participatory research, training and piloting of territorial transformation, from street lighting to painting murales. Advocacy and lobby with local decentralized institutions is also key. It underlines that women in urban neighborhoods are seldom aware of their human rights. Therefore, more in-depth research is needed to find ways that can improve the quality of life, not only of women but of all citizens.


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safer cities; gender-based violence; public spaces; urban areas

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