Leeds – UK’s First Women Friendly City

After a successful bid for funding from Comic Relief, Women’s Lives Leeds has confirmed the pending launch of Women Friendly Leeds.

Women’s Lives Leeds, a consortium of 11 women’s and girl’s organisations in Leeds, have been awarded funding from the Comic Relief “Power Up” Initiative.  Theirs was one of 700 bids across the world and only 7 UK applications were successful.

The Women Friendly concept was first raised two years ago by the Leeds Women’s and Girls Hubs, determining a focus of ensuring the City protects and promotes the rights of women and girls, including the consideration of the impact on women of any decisions taken, to ensure they are as healthy and as happy as they can be, embracing safety, voice, influence, participation,employment, education, health and wellbeing.

The United Nations has already defined a Women Friendly City as one where women can access:

health, education and social services
employment opportunities
high quality and comprehensive urban services (such as transportation, accommodation and security)
and mechanisms that will guarantee their rights in the event they are subjected to violence.

and where:

local governments take into account women’s issues and perspectives in their planning and decision-making processes and women are supported and encouraged to participate in all areas of urban life on an equal basis with men.

There’ll be a lot more information about this initiative closer to the full launch later in 2019.  In the meantime, moves are under way to appoint dedicated workers to support Women Friendly Leeds.

The Women’s Lives Leeds partners include specialists in domestic abuse, violence against women and girls, mental health, sex work, trafficking, child sexual exploitation, education and the criminal justice system.  Partners are: Asha Neighbourhood Centre, Basis Yorkshire, Behind Closed Doors, Getaway Girls, Hooner Kelah, Leeds Women’s Aid, Nari Ekta, Shantona, Together Women, Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service, Women’s Health Matters.

Photograph provided by Women’s Lives Leeds is of their Celebrating Women event 2017.

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