ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Patrícia: Even if we live far from each other, we're are tied together by one important goal

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:47

This week is World Urban Forum in Colombia and through the week we'll be sharing views from young women inside the walls of the Forum. Today we bring you a post from Patrícia:

First a little about me: I’m Patrícia Jerônimo, I’m 25 years old and I live in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Northeastern Brazil. I'm an young women from ActionAid Brazil's project to reduce sexual exploitation of girls and young women in Pernambuco, Brazil.

In 5 years, the city where I live has gone through transformations, especially on the issue of accessing the city. Between other things, the arrival of 40,000 men to work on the installation of a port and industrial complex, the Suape Complex, that count with 100 enterprises from Cabo and surroundings. There, public transportation is overcrowded, people are being removed from their houses, streets have no lighting, roads are rutted, health stations aren't enough for the population and there was a significant increase of violence against women, especially sexual exploitation.

Yesterday, here at the World Urban Forum, I met 3 young people from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Liberia. We presented a section, on the April 9th, at World Urban Forum. We talked about how cities where we live are unsafe for women, each of us with our different points of view, considering our countries' realities.

Anima, who lives in Nepal, presented a video that showed how public transportation is chaotic there; people pushing others to get a bus, men, women, children, everyone. She even told about a personal story, which she suffered gender violence on the street and how it scared her, mainly because she had no help from policemen.

Thamina, who lives in Bangladesh, talked about the urbanization process that is making women and girls move to cities for their own subsistence. It means that, in 2025, more than 50% of the population will be living in cities. Thinking about it, women's movement is going to the streets to claim for their rights.

And Ellen, who lives in Liberia, said that is necessary that authorities think not only on the legislation to stop wars, but also think on gender-sensitive policies and laws. There, services are precarious and gender violence in public spaces is frequent.

At the end of presentation, I thought that even though we are young women who live so far away from each other, we have realities so much alike, especially when we talk about violence against women, and our goal is only one: rights!