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Plan towns and cities with women in mind



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The Hon Wendy Fatin MR Minister for Local Government Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

June 27, 1991

PLAN TOWNS AND CITIES W ITH WOMEN IN MIND

From cheaper housing to better street lighting, urban environments should be designed with women in mind, the Federal Minister for Local Government and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Wendy Fatin MP, said today.

Ms Fatin was addressing delegates to the International Union of Local Authorities Conference in Oslo, Norway.

"Compared to men, women have been disadvantaged by the way in which urban environments have been constructed," Ms Fatin said.

"Women find housing less affordable than men. This lack of affordability, together with the predominant style of housing, designed as it generally is with conventional family life in mind, encourages female dependency."

Women with children needed public transport which was not designed primarily for commuters. They also needed encouragement to use the traditionally male-dominated sports fields and recreation centres.

The risk of violence against women could be cut significantly and cheaply, Ms Fatin said, with "simple measures such as providing adequate lighting in public parks, clearly visible pedestrian walkways and safe access to public toilets".

"We have to avoid the view that equates interest of the community with the interests of rate payers, seen in turn as property owners," Ms Fatin said. "We know that women own less property, poor people own less property, and children own less property.

"Local authorities should collect data and report as a matter of course on local equity issues."

Contact: Ruth Dewsbury (06) 2777240

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