London is the safest city for women to walk the streets and Cairo the most dangerous, this is according to the first international experts poll looking at which of the rising number of megacities are best for women.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey, released on Tuesday, asked experts in women’s issues in 19 megacities, each home to more than 10 million people – how well women are protected from sexual violence and harmful cultural practices and whether they have good access to healthcare, finance and education.
“Like with the healthcare there is a lot of opportunities, you can get a lot of things, a lot of free things also for women. The safety – I feel so much safer over here. I can walk at night and not feel scared,” said Kayleigh Weedon, London resident.
Like with the healthcare there is a lot of opportunities, you can get a lot of things, a lot of free things also for women. The safety.
London topped the poll overall, with Tokyo and Paris coming second and third.
Cairo was rated the worst overall, with Karachi and Kinshasa coming second and third from bottom.
Drinking with friends after work, London women spoke of the many “opportunities” the city provided them with and the free healthcare.
But in Cairo, traditions dating back centuries were seen as holding girls back.
“It’s really bad, you know. You feel like you are not a human being, you are like a weird creature, you know, you are just walking and you hear something you should not hear on the street. Why?” asked madeh Lofty Cairo resident.
Unsurprisingly, New Delhi came bottom of the rankings, jointly with Brazil’s Sao Paulo when measured on threat of sexual violence or abuse.
According to official crime figures four rapes an hour were reported in India in 2015.
“Groping, touching, staring, following – that happens,” one Delhi woman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
While Paris did well overall, coming third out of 19, it did not do well on sexual violence, with the City of Light placed 16th.
Parisienne women complained that they were often accosted on the streets by men and verbally harassed.