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Updated: November 5, 2009 19:53 IST

UN initiative to make Delhi safe for women

Aarti Dhar
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Photo: R. V. Moorthy
The Hindu Photo: R. V. Moorthy

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is working with the Delhi Government to make the Capital a safe city for women.

“We are working with the Chief Minister on the proposal and have made some headway,’’ UNIFEM executive director Ines Alberdi told reporters here on Wednesday at the end of her three-day official visit to India.

The global safe city programme, already being implemented in some cities of Latin America and Africa, entails some simple solutions like special transport facility for women, providing alarms in the public transport system and improving street lighting to give women a sense of security.

To begin with, the programme will be launched in New Delhi and then replicated in some other cities also, Ms Alberdi said. She met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in this connection on Wednesday. The programme would be implemented with the help of local authorities, women’s groups and civil society. This would also mean providing women access to violence-free cities and promoting gender equality, she said.

Ms Alberdi, on behalf of UNIFEM, also signed an agreement with the Norwegian government for promoting and strengthening women’s participation in local governance and political leadership. The $ 9 million agreement will be implemented in India and some other countries of South Asia for building capacities of the elected women so that their voices are heard in the political spheres. “I think India is making appreciable efforts in promoting women’s participation in politics and the proposed 33 per cent reservation in elected bodies is one such initiative,’’ she said.

The UNIFEM promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality by focussing on strengthening women’s economic security and rights, ending violence against women, including trafficking, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls, and achieving gender equality in democratic governance.

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