Private transport provider Addison Lee has partnered with UN Women UK to become its transport partner as part of its Safe Spaces Now initiative, which works to create safe spaces for women as they travel and live their day-to-day lives.
UN data shared by Addison Lee highlights serious concerns around women’s safety. Over 70% of women in the UK say they have experienced sexual harassment in public. Only 4% of women asked reported the incidents of harassment to an official organisation – with 45% of women saying they didn’t believe reporting would help change anything.
Through the partnership with Addison Lee, UN Women UK will raise awareness of the issues women face daily. Initial fund raising will focus on 16 days of activism from 25 November, the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Addison Lee passengers will be able to donate to a number of initiatives, such as Safe Spaces at Festivals and staff training run by UN Women UK. All donations will be match-funded by Addison Lee.
The partnership will also include co-designed safety guidance for private hire vehicle and taxi drivers and Addison Lee employees. The training, to be implemented early next year, will include modules on how someone should act if they think a passenger or member of the public is vulnerable, which organisations to call to report any incidents and wider awareness of women’s safety, including the types of behaviours that may make a person feel uncomfortable.
Claire Barnett, executive director of UN Women UK, said: “The pandemic and national lockdowns have given us a unique opportunity to reflect on what we expect from our public spaces and the behaviour within them.
“Women, girls and marginalised people across the UK are demanding action, and we know from UN Women’s work around the world that the only way we will achieve change is through a holistic programme, that includes preventative and educational measures as well as acting effectively when an incident happens.
“It is exciting to see Addison Lee leading the sector in committing to implementing this programme throughout their driver community and organisation, as well as mobilising the public. We hope their commitments to Safe Spaces Now will inspire others to take bold steps forward in making our public spaces safer.”