The UN Women Training Centre conducted a training of trainers on Safe Cities and Public Spaces in Torreon, Northern Mexico, last October 2017. The course, that included an online and a face-to-face component, provided a platform for interactive learning and exchange for civil servants (from the police, the judiciary, urban planning and transport) with the aim of contributing to the creation of safer cities and public spaces for all.
The 35 civil servants learned about the high prevalence of sexual violence against women in their region, Coahuila, compared with the very low response in terms of justice. Based on the “diagnostic on sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces in Torreón, Coahuila” undertaken by UN Women, 86.5.3% of women are afraid of being sexually assaulted in the streets and 78.2% in public transports. The participants debated on the root causes and consequences on such violence in the life of girls and women. They also questioned themselves on how this phenomenon could be more visible and attended by the community. Through techniques such as direct observations in the city and mapping, they reflected on how to design cities and public services that would contribute to create safer and more inclusive cities.
UN Women Mexico and the Training Centre will now coach the group to replicate short trainings to other public servants and to create protocols to prevent sexual violence against women and girls and attend the victims. A campaign will be launched soon, and all public servants will have access to self-paced courses on this topic at the beginning of next year. The same initiative is also taking place in Mexico City and Puebla.