Edmonton to host world leaders on safe public spaces

News Release
Edmonton to host world leaders on safe public spaces


The City of Edmonton and United Nations Women will co-host the 2018 UN Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Leaders Forum this fall. The forum will look at ways to advance the safety of women and girls here at home and across the world.

Around 250 leaders and experts from more than 20 countries will gather in Edmonton from October 16 to 19, 2018, to share and discuss evidence-based approaches, leading practices, tools and innovative strategies to make urban public spaces safe and empowering for women and girls.

Edmonton is the first city in the global north and the third city to host the UN Women Global Forum after New Dehli, India, in 2015 and Mexico City in 2017.

“The forum is a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the City and its partners are unwavering in our commitment to ending gender-based and sexual violence against women and girls,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “We know where we have work to do, and we will not stop until we’ve achieved equality for all Edmontonians.”

An initial Safe City study completed in 2017 in Edmonton found that sexual violence affects the daily movements of women in public spaces. Sexual violence is a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent. It can be physical and/or non-contact, such as verbal harassment, groping, following and stalking.

The places women and girls are subjected to sexual violence include transitional place, for example, to and from school, work and home. Indigenous women and girls and those between 13 and 18 years of age are most at risk.

The City of Edmonton was the second Canadian city to become a member of the United Nations Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative. Our participation will help Edmonton learn from cities developing innovative local strategies to address and prevent sexual violence.

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