Sydney Charter designed to make city and transport safer for women

Posted: 3 December 2019 |

The Charter will allegedly adopt similar principles to the Women’s Night Safety Charter in London which is said to have been successful in raising awareness of women’s safety and providing information about what steps can be taken to help improve safety in cities and on transport.


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A Charter to guide efforts by city-makers, businesses and government organisations to make Greater Sydney a safer place for girls and women has been announced by the Greater Sydney Commission, which will reportedly be developed in time for International Women’s Day in March 2020.

Chief Commissioner, Lucy Turnbull AO, said that the Charter will be an important milestone in making Greater Sydney a city where women and girls can feel safe, travel without concern and fully participate in the social and economic opportunities it offers.

“Two of our partners in developing the Charter – the charity for girls’ equality Plan International Australia and the Committee for Sydney – have done considerable groundwork in investigating what makes women of all ages feel unsafe in the city

“We want to establish a tangible way forward that improves not just physical safety for girls and women but makes them feel safe and capable of going about their lives free from harassment and fear,” Turnbull said.

“Nothing affects a woman’s ability to enjoy the city more than not feeling safe. Research indicates that when women are or feel unsafe, they’ll quit jobs that require them to work late, stop socialising at night with friends and even limit their access to night classes and further education.

Symposium panel discussion

Safety in the city symposium. Credit: Greater Sydney Commission

“We want the Charter to guide the planning of places and services across Greater Sydney that give priority to the safety of girls and women. And if it is safer for them, it will be safer for everyone,” she added.

Turnbull said the next steps would see the Commission collaborate with Plan International Australia, Transport for NSW and the Committee for Sydney on developing the Charter, including community engagement, ahead of its public release.

The announcement of the Charter follows a symposium in Sydney – A City for People – Women and Safety in the City – attended by more than 70 representatives from government agencies, local councils, businesses, youth organisations and the not-for profit sector.

“It was especially important to hear from young women at the Symposium about their experiences navigating the city, and to continue to involve women of all ages in our planning and solutions,” Turnbull said.