Sydney to create 'women's safety charter'

Heather McNab

A charter for women's safety will be developed by the Greater Sydney Commission in a bid to make the harbour city free from fear and harassment for women and girls.

The charter will be developed in time for International Women's Day in March 2020 and aims to guide women's safety efforts by business and government.

"We want to establish a tangible way forward that improves not just physical safety for girls and women but makes them feel safe and capable of going about their lives free from harassment and fear," Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull said in a statement on Tuesday.

The charter will adopt similar principles to the Women's Night Safety Charter in London which has provided information about possible positive steps towards improving safety, Ms Turnbull said.

These could include better design of public spaces, education campaigns, training workers on responding to harassment reports and encouraging victims or bystanders to report poor behaviour.

"Nothing affects a woman's ability to enjoy the city more than not feeling safe," Ms Turnbull said.

"Research indicates that when women are, or feel, unsafe, they'll quit jobs that require them to work late, stop socialising at night with friends, and even limit their access to night classes and further education.

"We want the charter to guide the planning of places and services across greater Sydney that give priority to the safety of girls and women."