A safe space for women and girls is a place where they can go at any time feeling safe, empowered, and can access information, education, social support, and recreational activities. These culturally appropriate spaces support their growth and success, recovery from violence, overall safety, and the opportunities they deserve.
But what does it take to create these safe spaces for women and girls, no matter where they are in the world?
Physically safe spaces include the following:
- Safe and clean toilet facilities and drinking water
- Roads they walk to or from home that are well-lit, secure, and free from harmful elements
- Professional workplaces that offer equal opportunities
- Hospitals and health care facilities that are well-equipped, offer sufficient medical and technological capabilities during emergencies, and provide sexual and reproductive health services
- Sports and recreational venues that are clean, have adequate protective gear, and governed by rules enforcing fair play
Emotionally safe spaces, on the other hand, involve:
- Protection from bullying
- Being allowed to speak about sensitive topics in the language they’re most comfortable with
- Zero tolerance for sexual abuse, harassment, or violence – whether in school, the workplace, or public/private places
- Social support from friends and loved ones, counsellors, psychologists, etc.
- The freedom to decide what to do with their bodies
There’s quite a road ahead of all of us to provide these safe spaces for women and girls regardless of their age, race, and geographical location.
According to the United Nations, one in three women globally face some form of sexual assault at least once in their lifetime. The chilling reality is that these statistics are still grossly underreported, such as in India where an estimate one case of rape occurs every 20 minutes. It’s important to incite a conversation for women and girls to define what’s important for the creation of their own safe spaces. These safe gathering points allow each of them the chance to engage with everyone, build connections and solidarity with other women and girls, and be critical movers and members of their communities.
Whether they’re on their time of the month, steering organisations to greatness as company executives, or raising children, every female deserves her safe space any time, anywhere.
Sara Bishop grew up in Queensland and lives on the Gold Coast with her husband Luke and their three children. She started working at age 14 and has performed administration, research, and advisory roles throughout her career. She has helped lead multiple companies, including a construction firm and a sales and marketing agency. She loves snowboarding, spending time at the beach, and hanging out with friends. She is the force behind Perfect Timing, a women’s wellness service that delivers customised parcels filled with feminine products to transform THAT time of the month into THE time of the month. Learn more on this page.
Posted November 9th at 4:46am