Leeds to become UK’s First Women Friendly City

After recent speculation and coverage, Women’s Lives Leeds are excited to confirm the upcoming launch of Women Friendly Leeds.

Women’s Lives Leeds, a consortium of 11 women’s and girl’s organisations in Leeds, were successful in bidding for funding from Comic Relief “Power Up” Initiative. The Women’s Friendly Leeds initiative was one of 700 worldwide bids, of which only 7 applications in the UK were successful. The aim of the Women’s Lives Leeds bid is to work towards making Leeds the first Women Friendly City in the UK.

The Women Friendly Leeds concept was first raised by the Leeds Women’s and Girls Hubs two years ago and has been in discussion since then. The initiative will focus on the equality of women and girls, making Leeds a city where the rights of women and girls are protected and promoted and decisions are made with the impact on women taken into consideration. The hubs have suggested key areas which would contribute to the overall objective of making Leeds a safer city where woman are the happiest and healthiest they can be; these are: safety, voice and influence and participation, employment / economic development, education, and health and wellbeing.

The United Nations already have a Women Friendly City initiative, which defines a WFC as:

A City where women can:

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

A City where:

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

Women’s Lives Leeds are delighted to have the opportunity to carry this work forward and whilst the Leeds Women’s and Girls Hubs will be integral to the initiative we will also be appointing dedicated workers in the role.

The coverage of the initiative has come sooner than we expected and we will have a full launch coming later in the year.