The United Nations has adopted safety audits as a best practice for addressing gender-based safety concerns, and the goal of gender-mainstreaming as the long-term solution to gender-equality issues facing our global society. The Feminist Public Works team (previously Directors of HollabackPHILLY), in partnership with the Philadelphia City Council (specifically Council Member James Kenney), is working on a collaborative effort to conduct a citywide safety audit in Philadelphia. Safety audits analyze 6 square block sections of neighborhoods throughout our city for conditions that might make the blocks feel unsafe, while also interviewing community members for conditions that either cause them concern or make them feel more comfortable, in addition to soliciting their general assessment of blocks in their own neighborhoods. By interviewing community members who live, work, or go to school in the neighborhoods, specific community concerns are taken into consideration, and diverse perspectives are included instead of overlooked
Safety Audits are considered a “best practice” by the United Nations for considering gender-based safety in public and urban spaces. We have been advised by the Huairou Commission, a United Nations affiliated NGO, and Feminist Public Works Director, Rochelle Keyhan, spoke at their parallel meeting to the United Nations 57th Annual Commission on the Status of Women this past March 2013. For more information on Safety Audits visit the UN Habitat page on safety audits. We will be using the Jagori Handbook as our model for the safety audit.
To support our effort, including the focus groups scheduled to occur over Summer 2013, and the Audit in Fall 2013, please email us at FeministPublicWorks@gmail.com!
Preparing for the City Council Hearing to start
Debriefing over lunch and making plans going forward