Environments made safe

Women and girls experience violence in their homes as well as in public spaces – from schools, markets, workplaces and public transport to online spaces, among others. This experience of violence negatively impacts women’s health and wellbeing, and can limit their mobility, economic, social and civic participation. This can have significant consequences and costs for a country’s national development (e.g. costs to businesses and local and national economies related to productivity, absenteeism, staff turnover, litigation and compensation).

The objective of this strategy is to create safe environments including schools, workplaces and other public spaces, where women are free from the fear and experience of harassment and other forms of violence.

Efforts to prevent violence against women in public spaces have the potential to reach large numbers of people to transform attitudes, norms and behaviours and promote women’s rights and access to these spaces. Some interventions included in this strategy, such as those that are school-based, can also fit under the R strategy on relationship skills strengthened or under the C strategy on child and adolescent abuse prevented. Therefore, they may be cross-referenced in the summary briefs for these two strategies.

Types of interventions

Interventions in this category foster institution-wide and societal change across different sectors and include:

  1. Infrastructure sector interventions related to transport, urban planning, water, health, energy, sanitation and housing. In these interventions, preventing violence against women is addressed through changing norms in organisational cultures, policies, procedures, and ending impunity, building capacities and ensuring essential services.
  2. Bystander interventions that involve working with groups of adults or children to recognise violence in places such as schools, communities, sports venues and other public spaces, supporting them to speak out, act against any violence they may witness and challenge the norms that underpin it.
  3. Whole school interventions seek to create safe, child-centred and gender-sensitive school environments for learning. They involve working with children as well as teachers, parents, school governing bodies and local governments to address peer violence, corporal punishment, bullying and dating violence.


See pages 4-6 of the E strategy summary brief for evidence for interventions under this strategy.

programme examples

Infrastructure and transport:

Safe cities and safe public spaces (global)
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Safetipin intervention (India)
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HarassMap technology (Egypt)
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Bystander interventions:

Green Dot (USA schools)
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Coaching boys to men/Parivartan (USA and India)
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Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell, India)
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Whole school interventions:

Good Schools toolkit (Uganda)
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Transforming education for girls in Nigeria and Tanzania (TEGINT)
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