Project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces"

January 2009 – December 2011.

The project is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against women.

The project is being carried out in four cities around the world - International Centre and Network for Information on Crime (Dar es Salaam in Tanzania), Jagori (Delhi in India), Red Mujer y Habitat de America Latina (Rosario in Argentina), and Information Centre of the Independent Women’s Forum (Moscow, Petrozavodsk in Russia) – to understand the factors that cause and lead to exclusion in order to address them.

Different methodologies were used to conduct this research including focus groups, surveys and the women’s safety audit tool. In addition, the project will engage with different sets of stakeholders including government, NGO’s, citizen groups, and the community in order to design and implement strategies and programs that can bring about concrete and significant change in women’s safety and right to the city.

GIC project is administered by: Women in Cities International (Canada)

More information about the project, see article see Alena Trofimova (Karelian Center NGOs) in the proceedings of the international project "Northern City: security and equal rights for all"

Project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety
by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces".
Progress reports.

The materials to Project:

  1. Practices of the partners in the international project "Gender Inclusive Cities "
  2. The Presentation "ICIWF Experience for Ensuring Women’s Safety. First Step of Using Safety Audit Methodology in Petrozavodsk city, Karelia Republic" Presented by Elizaveta Bozhkova, The Information Center of the Independent Women’s Forum (ICIWF). Moscow, Russia. 24-27 February. 2009, Montreal (.pdf)
  3. The Presentation "ICIWF First YearActivity on GIC Project Petrozavodsk City". Presented by Elizaveta Bozhkova, the Information Center of the Independent Women’s Forum (ICIWF).Moscow, Russia. 26 February. 2010, New York(.pdf)
  4. The Presentation "ICIWF Second Year Activity on GIC Project. Petrozavodsk City". Presented by Elizaveta Bozhkova, the Information Center of the Independent Women’s Forum (ICIWF). Moscow, Russia. 26-27 February. 2010, New York (.pdf)
  5. The Presentation "Gender Inclusive City Project. Petrozavodsk City". Presented by Elizaveta Bozhkova, nhe Information Center of the Independent Women’s Forum (ICIWF). Moscow, Russia. March 1. 2010, New York (.pdf)
  6. Video of the results of the action "Standard of safety on public transport" 15.11 – 15.12.2010, Petrozavodsk
  7. Interaction with the Ministry of internal affairs of the Republic of Karelia
  8. Awarding of the winners of city competition "Landscape Design - 2010"
  9. Interaction of the Karelian Resource Center with partners in the network of the project "Gender Inclusive Cities"
  10. Presentation of the project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces" at a meeting of the Standing Committee on management of municipal property, land use and transportation services(7.12.2011 ã., Petrozavodsk)
  11. Training seminar for drivers and heads of transport transportation service providers (14.12.2011, Petrozavodsk)
  12. Materials developed by the project "Gender Inclusive Cities"

Dissemination of information about the project to other activities

The materials to this project, publishred in "Vesnichka" newsletter (in Russian):


Starting from 2009 nte project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces" fulfils in Petrozavodsk. In this project, apart from Petrozavodsk, attended three more cities - New Delhi (India), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) and Rosario (Argentina).

Russian coordinator of the project - NGO "Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum"(Moscow), in Tanzania the project is charged with the International Center and Information Network for the Prevention of Crime, in India - Research Center "Dzhagori", in Argentina - Latin American Center, "Women and Habitat."

Since the beginning of the project in all four cities, workshops and trainings were held with representatives of nonprofit organizations, law enforcement authorities and transport companies. Were also conducted focus groups with women from different social and age groups, pedestrian safety audits on city streets and public transport on the streets also were interviewed women. These measures allowed analyze the security of women in the pilot cities, to determine dangerous for women and girls territory.

According to studies, factors that cause the greatest danger in all the partner cities of the project were considered: the alcohol use by men and / or drug use, poor lighting in the streets, the low efficiency of law enforcement, lack of respect for women by men and overcrowded public transport.

Research Center "Dzhagori" (New Delhi, India) held shares «Safe Transportation», «Please, mend the Gap», a three-day training «Be the Change» and the mass protests in the subway, were also distributed leaflets with phone number of the hot line for women. The University of New Delhi held meetings and workshops with students on safety and violence prevention gender-based group of volunteers is working with the university administration and students to raise awareness about safe environment on campus, working with the police, disseminates information about the hotline. The Government has launched a similar program aimed at improving security on campus. During the implementation of activities under the project number of activist groups has tripled. Through the training, the number of volunteers participating in safety, increased to 300 people. Actively use social platforms on the Internet. In March 2011, was conducted university action "The day against of street violence".

Transportation companies in New Delhi with "Dzhagori" organized training on human rights and safety of young women - the taxi drivers. training for drivers and conductors are held every 2 months. On the basis of materials training in November 2011 was issued handbook containing description of life experiences and comments of passengers and drivers on situations in transport.

In addition, New Delhi - one of the five pilot cities, which has financial support UN (along with Cairo (Egypt), Kyoto (Japan) and Kigali (Rwanda), and others). In 2007, members of the research center "Dzhagori" in cooperation with the transportation company prepared materials and conducted training for women who face discrimination based on gender grounds of public transport. Also, more than 3,600 employees of public Transport took part in a program aimed at the promotion of gender of equality. All government agencies are aware of the importance of maintaining safety in the city, actively participate in activities and open for interaction.

During the project in the city of Rosario (Argentina) were conducted street protests, meetings with women's groups, training, discussion of problems security and to develop joint solutions for the Advancement of Women. Cultural events have raised awareness of women's rights and contributed to their more comfortable being in public places. As a result of a security audit in a district city of Rosario, it was decided create a "safe passage" for women. Center, "Women and Habitat" held active work on the improvement and beautification of the streets with residents the district. In a selected area were made garbage collection and processing lawns, set lighting, eliminated potentially dangerous places and objects.

In Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) is implementing a program to enhance safety territory the city with the support of the UN since 2003, ie in the state level, providing support for programs to improve safety and since 2008 the state implemented a strategy to prevent the city crime (improving the legal framework, crime prevention through improved design and urban planning, prevention violence by including women and young people in public life).

International Center and Information Network for the Prevention of Crime(ICNIC) project team set up to educate women, have been prepared informational materials about safety, installed information boards on the streets. For the concrete work were chosen two informal settlements. Work in two primary schools in informal settlements, Kyoko, in which teach children aged 9 - 14 years non-violent behavior. Discussions and developing creative activities for this topic. The schools set up committees, interacting with the police service Security, organized religious education for pupils. In both school clubs are friends ICNIC-T, whose members put on plays and dance, make films and write poems dedicated to safety. On the 50th anniversary of Police officers of the International Centre organized a kiosk security where residents have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of security. In addition, in the streets, in bars, hotels and other public places every the county was located about 300 posters on women's safety in the modern city.

The work under this project will certainly bring executing organizations valuable experience. For three years the partners had the opportunity to meet with the methods and forms of work to develop equality and women's safety, as well as community outreach, nonprofit organizations, law enforcement authorities, government officials and heads of transport companies drivers and conductors.


Summer of 2010, Interior Ministry officials in the Republic of Karelia and the Internal Affairs Directorate of Petrozavodsk participated in two international workshops.

The first took place on June 29 in Lososiny. In addition to law enforcement it involved members of the Administration of Petrozavodsk City district, representatives of NGO "Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum" and "Karelian Resource Center of Public Organizations".

Seminar was held under the project "Improving the safety of women and reducing violence through practical activities in local areas. In the organization of this international project in addition to Russia involves four countries: Canada, Tanzania, India and Argentina. Petrozavodsk for many years is it's active participant, and his chief coordinator in Russia is the NGO "Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum" (ICIWF), whose activities manages Elizaveta Bozhkova.

ICIWF more than six years collaborates with the Karelian Ministry of Interior, and during that time collaboration made a number of positive results. Work is different - from conducting public opinion polls and to decision-making. By the way, the results conducted by members of the public survey on the "disadvantaged" areas of the City, agree with the data of the Internal Affairs of criminogenic areas in Petrozavodsk. Thus, identifying problem areas, public figures together with the Interior Ministry and the City may take action to improve the situation in Petrozavodsk. While in general Elizaveta Bozhkova noted that the Karelian capital - a very civilized European city, where rights are respected people.

The purpose of the last meeting was the development of the Plan of Concerted Action to improve safety and reduce violence against women. During all the day the workshop participants discussed the issues, problems and looking for ways to improve the safety of citizens in a modern urban environment as an example of Petrozavodsk. One of the main themes was the need to acceptance of the ban beer drinking in the streets and public places. And, probably, in the near future in the Legislative Assembly of the SC will be sent to treatment to include this prohibition in the Law of the Republic of Karelia on the administrative offenses.

And the next day at the Centre for training of Interior in Republic of Karelia, with the participation of police officers and representatives of the Bureau of International Organization for Migration (IOM) held a seminar on combating trafficking in human beings. To date, human trafficking is not only a major international business and international evil. Government, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations in many countries combine their efforts to to get rid of this shameful phenomenon. In 1992 an agreement was signed between the Government of Russia and the International Organization for Migration to implement programs in Russia, aimed at resolving issues of international and internal migration. Two years ago, IOM Moscow and the Ministry of Interior in the Republic of Karelia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on their own. "During this period, the interaction was filled with concrete content, - the statement says Director of IOM Moscow Enrico Ponziani to the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Karelia Michael Zakomaldinu. The most significant of its components are: participation in the organized militia of the Karelian our travel delegations of law enforcement agencies in Germany, Italy and Belarus to exchange experience in combating human trafficking, a series of training activities, as well as promoting increased levels of technical equipment of the units engaged in countering trade people".

Learning about the fruitful cooperation Moscow IOM office asked IOM bureau in Vilnius, which is implementing a project to prevent trafficking and provide assistance to victims in the Kaliningrad region. Representatives of the IOM Vilnius asked to assist in carrying out a series of meetings of members of NGOs of the Kaliningrad region with the competent bodies of the Republic of Karelia.

During the round table with the report of the criminal investigation departments in fighting sexual exploitation made ??by CID Officer Ministry of Interior in the Republic of Karelia, Vadim Terentyev. "In Karelia, the problem of trafficking in human beings, fortunately, is not acute. The problem of sexual exploitation exists, but again, its magnitude is small. This year we have been discontinued operations of five agencies to provide services of an intimate nature. Not in all so-called "intimate salons" the girls are working on their own, but in most cases, they see as a pimp their benefactors. Work in this area we are constantly maintained and improved, but here it must be said that a proposal exists when there is a demand. That is why we consider it expedient to be prosecuted and buyers of sex services".

During the seminar discussed many issues concerning the interaction of police with community organizations, and here the Karelian Ministry of Internal Affairs was what to tell. After the meeting, participants noted the importance of joint actions to counter trafficking in persons, and visitors from Vilnius and Kaliningrad took them to adopt the experience of the Karelian community organizations and police.

Press Service of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Karelia

(9.11.2010, Petrozavodsk)

Improving the quality of public transport was the theme of the Information Seminar wich was hold on November 9, 2010.

The organizers of the event were the NGO "Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum" and NP "Karelian Resource Center of Public Organizations" supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Karelia and the Administration of Petrozavodsk city district, and the Foundation to support innovative projects "New Dimension".

The seminar was attended by representatives of the Petrozavodsk State Traffic Safety Inspectorate, the Office of the State road supervision, administration of the city, road transport companies and members of social organizations.

On the agenda was only a a question of improving the quality of public transport.

Paradoxically, but in the process of discussion, everything came to the same thought: "Thank you, that it is". After all, if only to recall the end of the nineties, once the current situation is perceived as something very good. Yes, not all trolleys new, not all taxis are clean, drivers not always friendly ... but it all is.

Every day, thousands of citizens of Petrozavodsk use the services of public transport and, in the presence of some inconveniences can still find a lot of pluses. But this one is not going to be satisfied. Because in the near future everything stopping complexes and their are 365 in the capital of Karelia, will be converted according to modern standards: panels will hang with the numbers of buses, their routes and timetables. And next week on public transport will appear booklets listing all city buses, a map of their movements and the schedule.

Also this year will be a social event, which will aim to clarify the social ranking of problems the organization of public transport, then build to work to eliminate them.

The chief of traffic police of Petrozavodsk Andrew Chervochkin, who participated in the seminar, informed the audience a brief statistics of violations identified in the field of passenger transport. Total for the year was found 440 different violations, which were written administrative protocols. But this figure is not as ugly as that, according to official data, the weekly average of 45 people excluded from the management of private car due to lack of driver's license. Most of these individuals had previously been deprived of the rights of control of the car while intoxicated, and some of them once sat behind the wheel drunk. Among the drivers of public transport over the past few years have not registered a single case management in alcohol or drug intoxication.

Press Service of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Karelia


Alena Trofimova (Karelian Center NGOs)

October 4th as part of city meetings in the administration of Petrozavodsk city district the winners of city competition "Landscape Design - 2010" were awarded. This contest is held in Petrozavodsk for the fifth time. The main objective of organizing this competition - to make the city more attractive, beautiful and landscaped by the joint efforts of government, business and the public. According to the basic idea of the competition, every citizen can take part in the competition and make its own contribution to the improvement of the city. The competition also allows you to identify new, sometimes unexpected solutions in landscape design.

In the 2010 competition included the following nominations: "The city flower", "The main entrance", "Yards", "Flower decoration of facades", "Integrated landscaping", "School grounds", "Kindergarten", "The best lawn", "My house". Of particular note the nomination "Yards". This year's contestants in the evaluation of applications focused on the security aspect. "Landscape Design 2010" and nominated for "Yards" were part of the international project Project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces" (NP "Karelian Resource Center of Public Institutions" serves as regional coordinator of the project).

As noted the chief designer of the city Vladimir Lobanov, landscaping and security are inseparably connected with each other. Winner in the "Yards" local organization "Ratnik" is shown by example. Thus, in the courtyard of houses on the street Chapaeva, 104 incorporated many aspects of safety improvement (additional lighting and fencing, equipped with parking, the availability of ramps at the entrance to the staircase, painted in the color signal curbs, etc.). The first prize in the category of "Yards" was extended by the Russian coordinator of the project "Gender Inclusive Cities" NGO "Center for Independent Women's Forum," and handed it to the vinner the head of the Karelian Resource Center for NGOs Nicholay Oskin. According to Vladimir Lobanov, the aspect of safety in the "Yards" will continue to be taken into account during the city contest "Landscape Design"



As part of the international project "Gender Inclusive Cities" the NGO "Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum" (Moscow) and Karelian Resource Center for NGOs continue its efforts to improve women's safety in public areas of Petrozavodsk.

28 September 2011 the officer of the Karelian Resource Center for NGOs held an interview with the lawyer of the Integrated Center for Social public service, "Istoki".

During the interview, the lawyer of Social Center "Istoki" told about the activities of the Center, the services provided to women in difficult situations, specialists of the Center, as well as a shelter for women and children affected by domestic violence.

Center "Istoki" provides social, psychological and legal assistance to women in crisis and risk for physical and mental health condition or subjected to violence, and provides temporary shelter for women service. Each year, the shelter population of about 50 people, in distress, particularly in 2010 - the services of Hospice benefited 57 women and children, in 2011 - to date - 52.

On average, a woman may be in the Center for Hospice "Istoki" for about 10 days. If necessary, it will run by experienced psychologists, social workers, the lawyer of the Center. In addition, it offers consulting services. Consultation of Social Center "Istoki" specialists may be obtained by calling 77-30-52.

Employees of the Karelian Resource Center NGOs managed to speak to one of the women used the services of the Center "Istoki". She spoke about the difficult life situation, which turned out to be, and also about what kind of support for the Center "Istoki". The specialists of the Center not only provided substantial legal and psychological assistance, but also promoted temporary employment of their client.

Organizations participating in the project "Gender Inclusive Cities" hope for further fruitful cooperation with the Center "Istoki" to reduce crime against women, as well as improve the safety of women in public places in Petrozavodsk.


As part of the international project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces", October 20, 2011, the regular focus group was carried out involving nine 3rd year students on the theme "Safety in Petrozavodsk through women's eyes".

At the beginning of the focus group moderator Elena Ivanova, a regional coordinator of the project, an employee of NP "Karelian Resource Center for Public organizations", told about the project, the methods of social work with the population - focus groups with women, foot security audits, street surveys, action "Standard security on public transport". To familiarize participants with the focus group project was prepared handouts containing the statistics of the project and the results of applied techniques.

They discussed issues related to women's safety in Petrozavodsk, were named the most dangerous places in the city from the perspective of young girls - some nighttime entertainment and concrete streets: Stantcionnaya, Kemskaya, Pilot Street, Rigachina and other districts of the city: Kukkovka, Golikovka, Zarek. Participants of the meeting noted the lack of street lighting, poor asphalt coverage, the presence of stray dogs.

Of particular fear among girls caused a condition public transport, including shuttle buses, large intervals in the schedule of buses, the inability to travel from remote areas of the city. It was noted that often drivers of minibuses violate traffic rules, are disrespectful to the passengers. On the other hand, the participants noted positive changes in the state of the stops in the city - many of them are kept clean and equipped with information boards with the bus schedule. In public transport, there were also information sheets that contain data serving transportation company. It was noted that during the campaign, "Standard for Safety on public transport" within the project "Gender Inclusive Cities" the level of service on public transport has risen.

Participants made a proposal to host the schedules of public transport in the free newspapers, as well as online resources available all citizens.

Some of the participants have a personal car and say disrespectful attitude on the part of other road users.

Need to provide training for drivers of public transport to acquire the social skills of communicating with passengers and increase quality of Service.

The discussion touched upon the theme of violence against women in the home. In the future it is planned holding another focus group with students of other schools of the city of Petrozavodsk.

(7.12.2011 Ã., PETROZAVODSK)

Ever since 2009 the project project "Gender Inclusive Cities: Increasing women's safety by identifying and disseminating effective and promising approaches that promote women's equal access to public spaces" is implemented in Petrozavodsk.

August 30th, 2011 at the session of the Commission on the Advancement of Women in Petrozavodsk city district, which hosted the presentation of the project, it was decided to inform the standing committee of Petrozavodsk City Council on municipal property management, land use and transport services on the outcome of the action "Public-safety standard transport" and other activities conducted within the framework of the project and to increase security.

December 7, 2011 at the session of Standing Committee on municipal property management, land use and transportation service the specialists of "Karelian Resource Center of Public Organizations" issued a report on the work of the project "Gender Inclusive Cities", aimed at improving safety in Petrozavodsk. At the commission meeting was also attended by Chairman of the Petrozavodsk City Council Fokin O.N.

As shown by the analysis of calls to the hotline within the "Standard for Safety on public transport" action, held November 15 - December 15, 2010, and discussions in focus groups with students, the work of drivers of public transport, especially some of the taxi routes were made a claim, sometimes there are cases of antisocial behavior and rough relationship to the passengers by the drivers.

Despite the fact that the holding of the Action was actively supported by the local media, some deputies were not aware of the project and carrying out the action.

Many have aroused great interest in methods of work and technology of the action. The analytical report about stocks and other materials for the project were transferred to the commission.

After the meeting, experts of Karelian Resource Center of Public Organizations interviewed the chairman of the committee Alexander A. Nazarkov on security in the city and, in particular, on public transport. Also, AA Nazarkov highlighted the participation of NGOs in improving security in the city.

"How to increase safety on public transportation in Petrozavodsk"

On the 14 of December 2011 a training seminar for drivers and heads of transport transportation service providers was held in Petrozavodsk city Administration. The initiators of the seminar were the Information Center of the Independent Women’s Forum (Moscow) and Karelian resource Center of NGOs.

The main objective of the event was to elaborate suggestions on increasing the level of safety on public transportation in the city. The seminar was also aimed at drawing the attention of the heads and employees of the city public transportation service providers as well as the representatives of Petrozavodsk city Administration and Petrozavodsk city Council to the existing problems and the necessity of raising safety on public transportation.

The training seminar was held by Elizaveta Bozhkova, Russian GICP coordinator, and became one of the project events implemented in Petrozavodsk. Elizaveta reported on the activities fulfilled within the framework of the project, methods of work and experience of the countries-participants of the project. The article on the partners’ best practices in Tanzania, India and Argentina was published at Petrozavodsk city Administration’s website.

Employees and heads of public transportation service providers, policemen and representatives of the Administration and local Mass Media participated in the seminar.

In the beginning of the training its participants shared their thoughts about the level of public transportation safety in Petrozavodsk, said that they were concerned and worried about these very aspects, expressed their opinion on the project in general

After the project’s presentation all the participants of the seminar were divided into 2 groups and discussed particular issues concerning safety in the city. The first group was discussing the level of professional education of public transportation drivers and the way their personal characteristics influence the safety situation. The second group was discussing the issue of speed limitation and the recently adopted rules of pedestrians’ priority on the road, the technical condition of bus stops, interpersonal cooperation “driver – passenger”, etc.

During the work of the seminar some statistics on the road situation was given by the representatives of the Ministry of internal Affairs:

  • In 2011 – 6 road traffic accidents occurred due to the fault of shuttle buses’ drivers working with a license on commercial basis. 13 people got injured.
  • In 2010 – better statistics: 5 road traffic accidents occurred due to the fault of shuttle buses’ drivers and 6 people injured.
  • In 2010 – more than 4000 cases of traffic rules violation. Compare: In 2011 – less than 3000 cases of traffic rules violation. There are many reasons for that. One of them the police reform (the number of the employees was reduced, consequently it has become more difficult to monitor all the cases of traffic rules violation due to technical reasons)
  • During police raids in 2011: 3 drivers were driving public buses without a driving license, 6 drivers were drunk.
  • In 2011 – 126 cases of traffic rules violation by passengers (violating the number of seats in shuttle buses, too many passengers, they stand in the bus instead of sitting).

The group work was quite active and productive. A lot of interesting suggestions on increasing safety level at the road and the quality of transport services were offered. For example, an idea was expressed that it’s important to organize instructing trainings for public transportation service providers’ workers. At the same time the participants of the meeting noticed that it’s reasonable to begin such work with training for the heads of transport companies who need an incentive for improving the quality of services offered to passengers on public transportation.

Tatiana Polkova, GICP evaluator, expressed the group’s opinion on professional education for public transportation drivers. No doubt, there are a lot of problems in this sphere but on the other hand, for example, there is so-called invataxi in Petrozavodsk (special service for disabled people). Personal characteristics of public transportation drivers are also very important and it’s quite difficult to work on their improvement successfully. Communication of a driver and a passenger depends on both of them equally – so we have to consider behavior of passengers as well.

According to the group 1 point of view, the heads of public transportation service providers should be motivated to work out instructions and requirements for their employees and control their fulfillment. Another safety issue was touched upon in the group discussion – unsafe situation of women-conductors in trolley buses in case of passengers’ aggressive behavior.

Recommendations to the deputies:

  1. To discuss and clarify the possible motive for the heads of public transportation service providers to create high level transport services
  2. To hold an action which could motivate the drivers to behave and look neat, for example, “The most handsome driver”
  3. To hold a meeting of the Standing Deputy Commission aimed at discussing only the issues of safety on public transportation.

The representatives of group 2 also had a vivid discussion and suggested organizing training seminars for drivers aimed at developing stress resistance, learning how to behave in difficult situations and be polite to passengers. It was mentioned that it’s necessary to encourage conscientious workers. There must be a qualified psychologist working with the drivers who face some problems at work or their personal life in order to avoid aggressiveness or unpleasant situations.

The representatives of local police stated that many road signs had become old and should be substituted by modern ones. The participants of the seminar also negotiated about the issue of small shuttle buses’ substitution with more capacious buses, which would reduce the number of transportation units and increasing the level of safety on the road. Finally, participants suggested that public transportation service providers should have a so-called “Code of conduct” which could consist of several most important rules that have to be followed by any driver and all the heads of public transportation service providers.

In general the seminar was held successfully; its participants expressed their interest in the discussed issues and requested that such seminars were organized on the regular basis. They also emphasized the importance of direct work with public transportation drivers and stated that GICP is a useful initiative, it has good results and consequently such work must be continued in Petrozavodsk as well as in Russia in general.


(published in the proceedings of the international project "Northern Cities: Safety and Equal Rights for Everybody")

Alena Trofimova
Non-commercial partnership
"Karelian resource Center of NGOs"

Modern cities are changing with time just as our mode of life is changing. Today gender approach to urban planning becomes more and more relevant. In many countries men and women have unequal access to public places. Thus, women and children are the most vulnerable groups of any society: many public places are not safe for them. The notion “women’s safety in cities” includes strategies and practical measures aimed at decreasing violence against women and protection of their right to equal access to public commodities.

When we talk about women’s safety we have to remember that when women and children are safe, the whole population if safe. Many factors which we may not even think about represent a potentially friendly ground for criminals. Such factors as poor lighting in the streets, abandoned houses, untrimmed bush, etc. may represent such risks.

In 2009 in Petrozavodsk project “Gender Inclusive Cities project” started up. The project is aimed at increasing women’s safety and decreasing of violence through practical activity on local territories.

Organizations-initiators of the project:

  • Information Center of Independent Women’s Forum (Russia),
  • International Center and Information Network on Crime Prevention (Tanzania),
  • Research Center “Jagori” (India),
  • Latin American Center “Women and Habitat” (Argentina).

The main tasks of the project include:

  • Decrease of violence against women;
  • Working out of prevention methods to decrease the number of crimes against women;
  • Participation of women and women's organizations in research and creation of prevention methods to decrease the number of crimes against women.

The project consists of three main stages: research component, pilot interventions and analysis of the events organized.

In each of the countries participating in the project researches were held according to a specific scheme: safety audits in day time and at night, focus-groups and street polls. Thus, in Petrozavodsk 6 focus-groups were organized with the assistance of public safety militia representatives, representatives of transport companies, as well as women of older age, young women with children, female representatives of ethnic minorities and national and cultural autonomies. As the result of focus-groups' work the most dangerous places in the city were defined and the factors leading to lack of safety, for instance, poor lighting in the streets, blocks of flats and yards, homeless dogs, poor state of roads etc. During the street poll 500 questionnaires were filled out and collected. The questionnaire was created by the project initiators and was aimed at detection of women's personal experience connected with safety in public places. Part of the questions was connected with the issue of sexual violence in public places.

Safety audit was held on previously selected routes in accordance with the results of focus-groups and street polls. Therefore, according to the research conducted earlier a special map of Petrozavodsk was designed with the most dangerous city places marked.

In 2010 the stage of pilot interventions on the territory of Petrozavodsk municipal district commenced. Each of the 4 cities-participants of the project were supposed to work out specific measures to increase safety and decrease the level of violence against women, based on the results of the research conducted. In Petrozavodsk public transport and yard territories were detected to be some of the most dangerous places.

The following practical measures based on the above mentioned research were implemented in 2010:

1. Drafting and signing Agreement on interaction between the Ministry of the Interior in the Republic of Karelia, the Administration of Petrozavodsk municipal district, regional public organization “Information Center of Independent Women's Forum” and non-commercial partnership “Karelian resource Center of NGOs”.

  • Drafting and signing an action plan for successful project implementation.
  • Inclusion of safety aspects into the nomination “Yard Territory” in the city contest “Landscaping 2010”.
  • Action “Public Transportation Safety Standards”.

The initiative to sign the Agreement emerged in February 2010. On the 4th of February at the meeting with the Head of Petrozavodsk City district Nikolay Levin this project was presented by the Head of regional public organization “Information Center of Independent Women's Forum” Elizaveta Bozhkova. The project got a positive estimation and support from the mayor of Petrozavodsk. When preliminary negotiations were over the parties began drafting the Agreement. The main point of the Agreement is the cooperation on implementation of “Gender Inclusive Cities” project on the territory of Petrozavodsk City district. The Agreement became a crucial component for coordination and joint activity of authorities and public organizations in the field of safety.

Another important point of the Agreement was creation of the Action plan. A projecting seminar was organized for all the interested parties in order to draw this plan in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Karelia and the Administration of Petrozavodsk City district (June 29, 2010).

One of the articles of the Action Plan was inclusion of safety aspects in the nomination “Yard territory” in annual city contest “Landscaping”. By that time the contest has already been held 5 times in Petrozavodsk. The main aim of the contest is to make the city more aesthetically attractive and comfortable by means of joint attempts of the government, business structures and public. According to the contest's main idea, any citizen could take part in the contest and make their contribution to the improvement of the city. The winner of the contest in the nomination “Yard territory”, homeowners association “Ratnik”, set the example of the yard territory managing. Thus, in the yard of the houses in Chapaev street, 104 many aspects of safety were taken into consideration (additional lighting and fences, a fully equipped parking place, rampants, street curbs painted in signal colours, well-managed flowerbeds and bushes, cameras with video output to families’ computers, etc.).

On the 18th – 20th of October the experience of Petrozavodsk was presented at the interregional seminar «Raising Safety in Russian cities». The seminar was organized by regional public organization “Information Center of Independent Women's Forum” (Moscow), public organization “We live this way” (Tver) with financial support of Huairou Commission. Representatives of authorities and public organizations from Moscow, Tver, Dubna, Pushino, Tchelyabinsk and Petrozavodsk took part in the seminar. In these cities safety audits, street polls and focus groups were held based on the experience of Petrozavodsk. During the seminar it was detected that problems of Russian cities are very similar to each other (poor lighting in the streets, transportation problems, lack of trust in militia, a large number of dark and untended streets, alcohol drinking in public places, homeless dogs, etc.) All the participants of the seminar concluded unanimously that to solve these problems citizens have to be active, non-governmental organizations are to establish and promote cooperation with authorities and join their efforts to raise the level of safety in Russian towns and cities. Petrozavodsk set a positive example for other cities where cooperation of non-governmental organizations and governmental bodies on such projects is already established.

On the 22nd – 24th of November 2010 non-commercial partnership “Karelian resource Center of NGOs” took part in the 3rd International conference on safety in cities: “Creation of Inclusive Cities” (Delhi, India). The conference was organized by women’s organizations from Canada (“Women in Cities International”) and India (“Jagori”) with the support of international partners: Huairou Commission, United Nations Development Fund for Women and United Nations Human Settlements Programme. 45 countries and more than 60 cities of the world took part in the conference. Representatives of international, national and local non-commercial organizations, research and journalist communities and government bodies of different countries participated in the event.

The conference was devoted to experience exchange and new decisions in creation of cities open to women’s needs, where women would be citizens with full rights and have free and safe access to all public places.

The main aim of the conference is to examine and formalize different instruments and methods of safe and inclusive cities creation, to unite the potential of non-governmental organizations and government bodies to use these methods in practice, to distribute the best practices of inclusive cities creation around the world.

Project “Gender inclusive cities” became an indispensable part of the Conference. Participants from 4 countries (India, Argentina, Tanzania and Russia) cooperating in the project shared their experience and the positive results they had achieved; they also talked about the work that is conducted in their cities, the difficulties they face and they way they cope with these difficulties. Following the results of the conference Declaration on raising women’s safety and decreasing violence against them was drafted and approved.

As for the activities on the territory of Petrozavodsk City district and the Action plan, the next stage was the action “Public Transportation Safety Standards”. Preliminarily to the action an information seminar was held (November 9, 2011), with participation of heads and representatives of local transport enterprises, governmental bodies and local authorities, non-governmental organizations and mass media. During the seminar the scheme of the action was updated by joint efforts of the participants.

“Public Transportation Safety Standards” Action was held in Petrozavodsk from the 15th of November till the 15th of December 2010. The aim of the Action was to analyze abidance by rules of safe operation of public transport in the city on the part of passengers, drivers and transport companies, to find out the best drivers and transport companies, to raise the quality of their wok and safety.

The Action included the following events:

  • Establishing of a “hot line” for passengers where they could thank certain drivers and transport companies as well as voice their criticism and suggestions on improvement of public transport situation in Petrozavodsk;
  • Public audit of traffic safety (with participation of volunteers) on all routes in the city. To conduct the audit special “Observation sheets” were drafted and were filled in by “secret passengers” (volunteers);
  • Live broadcasting at radio station “Karelia” with participation of representatives of the Administration of Petrozavodsk City district, transport companies, non-governmental organizations and volunteers.
  • Informational support of the Action through mass media, the Internet and printed announcements.

It is worth mentioning that passengers were rather active during the Action, in one month 111 calls were received on the “hot line”. 29 % of them are positive responses and expressions of gratitude for high-quality work of public transport. Another 71 % are negative responses: criticism, requests and suggestion on improvement of the work of public transport. The majority of people who called the “hot line” were women (101 call, 91 %).

Among positive characteristics of public means of transportation mentioned by the passengers are comfort, convenience and safety of trolley buses. Shuttle buses are very uncomfortable according to the majority of those who called the “hot line”. They are always overcrowded with people in rush hours, and it is impossible to get into them. The passengers suggested increasing the number of big shuttle buses instead of smaller vans.

Special concern of the citizens is caused by routes to distant parts of the city. In the morning and in the evening people have to wait for public transport for a long time. According to people who called the “hot line”, often times they have to wait for the bus for 30-40 minutes. Due to an inconvenient schedule the transport is overcrowded with passengers and it is very hard to get into it.

Some of the drivers smoke in the bus, talk on the phone and are rude towards passengers.

During the public audit held in Petrozavodsk 129 Observation sheets were collected, 26 routes were observed (all transport enterprises). 14 volunteers from non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and state and municipal institutions took part in the audit.

Observation was conducted considering the following aspects: date, time, number plate of the vehicle, name of the transport company, occupancy of the passenger compartment, behaviour of the passengers, drivers and conductors, condition of the compartment, driver’s and passengers’ abidance by traffic rules.

Generally speaking, during public audit of all the routes more positive observations were collected than negative ones. The rate is 2,5 : 1.

Among the positive observations the following were mentioned: good state of compartments of public transport (neatness, good lighting, good condition of doors, seats, handrails), politeness of drivers and passengers to each other, abidance by traffic rules by certain drivers, good work of conductors in trolleybuses.

Among the negative observations were: old compartments of in public transport (particularly trolleybuses), poor lighting and dirty compartments of shuttle buses, drivers’ rude behavior towards passengers, smoking in the buses, loud music, violation of the speed rate, stops at unequipped places, rude behaviour of drivers and passengers (“beer drinking, pushing each other, impolite behavior of passenger to each other).

On the 14th of February 2011 the best workers of local transport companies - according to passengers’ opinion - were given certificates of honour and letters of gratitude at a meeting at the Administration of Petrozavodsk City district.

Based on the analysis conducted, recommendations were worked out and directed to the Administration of Petrozavodsk City district and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Karelia.

All the implemented project events were aimed at increasing women's safety which entails safety of all the citizens. Work in this direction is crucial. Good results can be achieved through cooperative participation of government bodies, non-governmental organizations and the inhabitants of the city in the process of improving the life standards in the city. “Gender inclusive cities” project will be continued till 2012, new events will be held and final conclusions will be made.


On September 14, 2011 final seminar within the framework of the project «Northern Cities: safety and equal rights for everybody” was held. The initiators of the seminar and the project were Non-commercial partnership “Karelian resource Center of NGOs” and Karelian regional social women’s movement “Amal”. Partners of the project were Women’s Shelter in Iceland (Reikjavik), consulting and training social organization KoulutusAvain Oy (Oulu), Public Relations Department of Petrozavodsk City Administration, Autonomous organization “Sodeistvie”. Representatives of Petrozavodsl City Administration, NGOs and educational institutions participated in the work of the seminar.

The Head of Women’s Shelter in Iceland Sig?ru?ur Gu?mundsdottir reported about the best practices of the Shelter’s work. Halldora Traustadottir, Executive manager of the Icelandic Women‘s Rights Association Reykjavik (Iceland) made a presentation about the Association history.

The Finnish partners, Marja-Leena Haataja, Development Director of KoulutusAvain Oy and Eija Leinonen, Consultant M.Ed, KoulutusAvain Ltd, in their presentation focused on the activity of their organization in the sphere of gender equality aspects and its development.

It’s worth mentioning that the Chairperson of the Commission on Women’s Status Improvement in Petrozavodsk urban district and Chief Doctor of local public health authority “Medical Emergency Hospital” Alexey Kheyfets was speaking about the contribution of the Commission in solving problems of women’s safety and gender equality in Petrozavodsk.

Alena Trofimova, representative of Non-commercial partnership “Karelian resource Center of NGOs” made a presentation on international project “Gender Inclusive Cities” implementation in the City of Petrozavodsk and international cooperation within the framework of the project. She spoke about methods used in work on the project – pedestrian safety audit of certain territories, street poll for women and focus-groups with different groups of women. These methods let us define relatively dangerous and safe streets and districts of the city from women’s viewpoint, compare them to the current statistics of street crime, hold action “Public Transportation Safety Standard” and include new nomination “Safe yard” in annual contest “Landscaping”.

About 50 persons took part in the work of the seminar, including Ag. Director of municipal institution complex social service Center “Istoki” I. Kolombintseva, Head of the Department of Assistance for women in a difficult life situation Elena Karpova and lawyer of “Istoki” Sofia Ledovskih. It’s worth mentioning that Tatiana Polkova, journalist of State TV- and radio company “Karelia” and the evaluator of GIP project was also present at the seminar.

During the seminar the following topics were discussed: bad working environment for women migrants, absence of social support to migrants, low level of tolerance in society, domestic violence, factors causing violence, insufficient awareness of the population; questions of international gender equality experience application in the Republic of Karelia.

At the closing stage of the seminar its participants expressed their suggestion to initiate employees and successful practices’ exchange for creation a network of favourable business contacts of NGOs at international level.

(27.09.2011, PETROZAVODSK)

September 27 in Kondopoga in the framework of the exchange to support the cooperation of NGOs and youth leaders of Russia and the Nordic countries held an international seminar on "Women's social activities in the Barents region".

Seminar was organized by non-governmental organization Women Kondopoga district "Sovremennitci" (Contemporaries), leading its activities since 2007. The organization supports women's and community initiatives in Kondopoga and Kondopoga district, develops and implements programs to support a diverse population, contributes to the development of spiritual, cultural and educational level of women, educates young people a sense of patriotism and tolerance and promoting peace and friendship between peoples.

The seminar was attended by representatives of the Administration of Kondopoga municipal district, community organizations Kondopoga, Petrozavodsk, and Finland. The workshop inaugurated a virtual tour of the city Kondopoga Fitisovoy Anna Evgenyavna.

On Social Movement in Kondopoga meeting participants said Olga Meshkov, chief of Public Relations, External Affairs and Relations with national and religious organizations. At the seminar, and sounded the information on the initiatives of women's organizations of the RK, as well as the history of the formation of the Church of Ingria and women's role in this process.

The workshop was active Finnish partners and guests - about 15 people. Women's Center staff Femina Aboensis in Turku, Milla Nieminen and Paija Ala-Lipasti, spoke about the situation of illegal migrants in Europe, the existing problems and their solutions, Anja Ronka made a presentation on "Learning on the job." Chairman of the Board OOZHKR "Sovermennitsy" Kondopoga, Tsykareva Nadezhda said about the role of the social organization of women "contemporaries" in the development area.

Deputy Director-General of NP "Karelian Resource Center," Elena Ivanova, introduced participants to the international project «Gender Inclusive Cities». Finnish colleagues, public figures have been pleasantly surprised that such an ambitious and necessary initiative is being implemented in Petrozavodsk, along with the cities of Argentina, India and Tanzania. They are interested in the experience of the focus groups, and security audits, direct work with the population in the street survey. It is important to note that the focus of the project «Gender Inclusive Cities» was considered very relevant today, both for Russia and in Finland.

The seminar ended with concert music band from Finland «Mottolaiset».