Safer Parks for Women and Girls

Over the last few months, there has been significant coverage of the safety of women and girls in parks, with research by such organisations as Leeds University and Dr Anna Barker. Other organisations include Make Space for Girls who exists to campaign for parks and public spaces which are designed with teenage girls in mind.

Currently provision for young people consists almost entirely of facilities such as skate parks, MUGA (aka fenced pitches) and BMX tracks. These are seen as meeting the needs of all young people when in fact they are places dominated by boys. Girls feel that parks are unsafe, and offer nothing for them, yet these issues are seldom acknowledged, never mind addressed. But girls have a right to play and to be provided with facilities which respond to their needs as well as those of teenage boys, and which can be used in a much more equitable fashion.

Make Space for Girls have rewritten their report on what research and data can tell us about teenage girls and parks: how much do they use them, or not; what impact does this have on their health, wellbeing and human rights, and how people can do things better. Their Resources Library has a significant amount of information for designers, local authorities and all those involved in public space.

More here.

Other coverage is below.

This is an important initiative and we would encourage colleagues to consider as part of their day job in the management, maintenance and enhancement of their green spaces.