What is a Woman Friendly City?


Women’s Lives Leeds and Leeds Women’s and Girls’ Hubs are working towards a city that is better for women, better for everyone.

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.


Why Women Friendly Leeds? Aren’t Women and Men equal?

Unfortunately, there is a wealth of evidence that shows there are many ways in which women are disadvantaged in Leeds, and wider society.

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Why not Men Friendly Leeds / People Friendly Leeds?
This initiative has been driven by the Leeds Women’s and Girl’s Hub – safety for women and girls in Leeds is a priority for both hubs. The aim of Women Friendly Leeds is to help women feel safer in Leeds and to ensure their interests and voices are represented at a decision-making level. This is not to say that only women experience these issues or have negative experiences based on their gender. We believe that a Leeds that is better for women is a Leeds that is better for everyone.
What about other groups? What about LGBT/ disabled/ POC / etc. Friendly Leeds?
Women fall into a wide range of intersectional categories, whether it is race, sexuality, class, disability, age, or something else. We want Leeds to be better for all, no matter which of these other groups they fit in to. We encourage women from all demographics to be involved with the initiative either via the hub or other opportunities that will arise.
The initiative is not representative of what I / other women want
The Women Friendly Leeds initiative, whilst facilitated by Women’s Lives Leeds, will always be shaped by Leeds Women and Girl’s Hubs which is open to all women in Leeds. We have spent the last two years facilitating these conversations and listening to what women and girls want – Women Friendly Leeds was initiated by the hubs and they have shaped the proposal. We understand that there will always be varying opinions on what should be done to make Leeds better for women and girls, and encourage these conversations. We welcome any woman or girl from Leeds to attend our hub meetings and be involved in this discussion.
What will the initiative actually do?
The initiative is part of our VOICES project – Views, Opinions & Insights Consultation & Engagement Systems to develop & strengthen the new Women & Girls Hubs, enabling them to be vehicles for a movement to bring about change in Leeds. We will also strive to broaden the engagement of women and girls across Leeds, putting their voices at the heart of decision making, informing and influencing: Service design, planning and commissioning in the City, thus ensuring Leeds becomes the 1st UK Women Friendly City; a Beacon city in the UK promoting change. We look forward to formally announcing Women Friendly Leeds and sharing more details later in the year.
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