The Arab region is witnessing an unprecedented urbanization boom accompanied by diverse challenges including sexual violence and harassment of women in public spaces. This challenge is an unrecognized pandemic that should be addressed to achieve gender equality and sustainable development as indicated in the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda. Accordingly, this policy brief examines international and regional solutions to addressing women’s safety concerns in public spaces.
It reviews successful experiences in adopting laws to criminalize sexual violence and harassment of women in public spaces and discusses how some countries are utilizing technology, particularly Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to innovatively raise awareness and advocate for safe public spaces, report unsafe public spaces and track safety. The policy brief concludes with recommendations to Governments and relevant stakeholders in the Arab region on ways to use technology to address violence against women in public spaces and make cities safe for all.