CH&PA hosts Womenโ€™s Safety Audit Workshop to create safer spaces for females

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๐—๐˜‚๐—น๐˜† ๐Ÿฏ, ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ – To create safe spaces for women and girls through sustainable housing, the Central Housing, and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is hosting a two-day Women’s Safety Audit (WSA) Workshop.

The workshop, which falls under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Program (AHUAP), was held at the Parfaite Harmony Primary School, West Bank Demerara (WBD).

Minister within the Ministry of Housing & Water Susan Rodrigues stated that the workshop’s findings would help guide infrastructure design and the construction of community facilities in the areas that fall under AHUAP within West Bank Demerara. These are: West Minster, Onderneeming, Recht-Door-Zee, Lust-en-Rust and Parfaite Harmony.

The Minister further stated that the safety of women and girls is imperative to the government and in keeping with their manifesto commitment for women empowerment.

“In order for that to happen, we have to come to you, the people to guide that process and help us to shape the program in such a way that it brings real, tangible benefits and enhancement to your lives,” said the Minister.

CH&PA’s Environmental and Social Safeguards Coordinator, Sunil Gopaul, noted that $US27 million ($5.4 billion) had been allotted through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to execute the program.

He stated that the project scope includes constructing core homes and infrastructure works such as upgrading of roads and drainage systems and installing street lights. The project, which was piloted in Sophia, Georgetown, has been expanded under Budget 2021 to include several areas along the East Coast Demerara corridor, East Bank Demerara, and West Bank Demerara.

Participants in the workshop are given the platform to detail women’s experiences in urban public spaces and how these experiences affect their daily lives. The contrast and similarities of these experiences to men within the same areas are also being examined.

The workshop is led by the Deputy Director of the Community Development Department, Donnel Bess-Bascom, and other staff members. As part of the workshop, the participants will also conduct a WSA walk, along with CH&PA officials in specific areas, to assess these spaces and recommend strategies for improvement.

Ten (10) participants were drawn from each of the five (5) communities.The targeted participants and stakeholders included members of the Guyana Police Force, Regional Democratic Council of Region Three: Malgre Tout/Meer-Zorgen, Neighborhood Democratic Councils and community leaders, faith-based organizations, and women and girls differing social and economic spheres. The workshop will continue on Sunday, July 4, 2021.

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