Safe City for Women and Girls

The Problem

There is much to love about this city but lately, it has begun to feel very unsafe due to the increasing number of violent acts against women. This is unacceptable.

We have mourned with families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women. We have stood by Muslim women that have been attacked for choosing to wear their hijab. My daughter and her friends that live downtown, walk to and from work and school constantly looking over their shoulders and have their keys poking through clenched fists. Most women I know – even those that have lived in major cities around the world – are telling me that they have never been scared to walk our city streets at night - until today. This cannot continue.

When cities are not safe, they impede women’s ability to work, socialize and contribute to society. Their mobility is greatly reduced, impacting their ability to fully participate in public life without fear of violence and harassment.

Historically, cities and other public spaces have been designed by and for men without taking women’s safety and needs into account. It’s time for this to change.

The Policy

Make Edmonton a safer city for women and girls.

  1. Ambient and motion lights are installed on high use and community identified pathways, parks, and parking facilities.
  2. Continued and increased safety improvements of LRT stations and transit centres, including increased security personnel and expansion of the community outreach transit teams.
  3. Expand the hours of the on-demand transit services to 1 am to provide last kilometre service.
  4. All City parkades have parking stalls designated for women and families located closest to entrances, stairs, and elevators.
  5. The downtown central business neighbourhood has dedicated - 7 days a week / 8 am to midnight - Peace Officers & social worker units.
  6. Data obtained from the SafeCityYEG incident reporting platform, 311 and police calls are routinely assessed and safety measures are implemented in identified hot spot areas.
  7. Mandatory bystander training for all city employees and gender-based violence sensitivity training for Edmonton Peace and Police officers.
  8. Pass municipal street harassment bylaws that address clearly hateful and harassing verbal assaults and give authorities the ability to ticket and fine when necessary.
  9. Provide micro grants for community partners and associations to deliver or provide space for safety programs such as safety awareness, self defence classes, or bystander training.

The Outcome

An Edmonton that is safe for women and girls is safe for all Edmontonians - no matter gender identity, culture, race, or what part of the city you live in. We have a gender inclusive and equitably designed city
that empowers and enables women’s full participation in public life.

Every Edmontonian that calls this city home feels safe and welcome. Edmonton is actioning and being held accountable to the commitments it made in 2016 when they joined the United Nations Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global program.