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Barry Andrews MEP calls for late night safety initiatives to ensure safety for women in Ireland on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Barry Andrews MEP has called for increased late night safety initiatives to address the safety concerns of women in Ireland on the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

A 2021 survey by Newstalk Breakfast found that 87% of the women surveyed across Ireland do not feel safe walking home after dark, while 60% say they have been verbally harassed after dark. One in three (36%) of women said they have been followed while walking home.1

Commenting on the significance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Andrews said, “This day serves as a stark reminder of the need for practical and impactful initiatives to combat gender-based violence. There clearly needs to be a cultural and educational change in Ireland to ensure that women are safe at night in Ireland. I recognise that men also have a crucial role to play in ensuring women’s safety and acknowledging the dangers women face at night in public places.”

"The death of Ashling Murphy and countless other women shows that there still is a lot of work to do to ensure that women feel safe. Fear and harassment are a reality for many women, something that many men do not have to factor into their daily life. Women and girls have the basic right to be safe, and this is not happening at a large enough scale here in Ireland. We must learn from other EU countries that have successfully implemented measures to enhance safety for women.”

Andrews has outlined gender mainstreaming as an example of how women’s safety can be addressed.2 Highlighting its success in Vienna, Andrews said, "Vienna, committed to gender mainstreaming since 2000, serves as an excellent model for Dublin. High-quality public lighting and improved safety measures in underground car parks such as security staff and installing CCTV have all been implemented as part of gender mainstreaming3

“Vienna has been integrating gender budgeting into its budget proposals since 2006, meaning that all parts of its budget are reviewed from a gender-perspective. A campaign was also previously launched on improving lighting in its 200 parks. This approach has contributed to Vienna being named the world’s most liveable city in 2023 for the second consecutive year," Andrews remarks.

Andrews has also applauded the actions taken by Dublin-based organisations, such the ‘ChalkBack’ campaign by Empower Her Voice Dublin. This resulted in Wigwam, a nightclub in Dublin, improving its safety policy and training and introducing the role of a ‘Late Night Safety Officer’.4

Barry Andrews concludes, "Safety is paramount, and we must strive for a city that ensures the freedom of all individuals to move about without fear. Dublin can and should be a beacon of progress in fostering an environment where women feel safe and equal."

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