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Council pledges to put women’s safety ‘at the heart’ of Manchester’s night time economy

The new 'Women’s Night Time Safety Charter' will set out how organisations can prioritise the safety of women in our city.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 22nd September 2022

Manchester City Council has pledged to put the safety of women in our city “at the heart” of Manchester’s night time economy.

After publishing a groundbreaking 10-year plan to protect women in March 2021, with Mayor Andy Burnham declaring that he wanted the “streets, workplaces, schools, universities and homes of this city-region to be safe for every woman and girl”, the Council has now said that steps are being put in place to improve the safety of women in Manchester’s night time economy.

From September 2022, businesses who operate at night time in Manchester will be encouraged to sign and pledge support to the Women’s Night Time Safety Charter – which is officially being launched this week.

The charter will set out how organisations can prioritise the safety of women – both employees and customers – in our city.

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The implementation of this new charter by Manchester City Council comes after improving safety for women in Manchester was named as one of the key priorities of Cllr Bev Craig when she was elected as leader back in 2021.

According to the Council, all businesses who sign up to the charter will be asked to pledge their support to these seven commitments:

  1. Appoint a Champion – Nominate a champion in your organisation who actively promotes women’s night safety. 
  2. Communicate – Demonstrate to staff and customers that your organisation takes women’s safety at night seriously.
  3. Support your staff – Remind customers and staff that Manchester is safe, but tell them what to do if they experience harassment when working, going out or travelling. 
  4. Support the public – Encourage reporting by victims and bystanders as part of your communications campaign. 
  5. Training and responding – Train staff to ensure that all women who report are believed. 
  6. Training and recording – Train staff to ensure that all reports are recorded and responded to. 
  7. Design – Designing space for safety.

The Council says these steps are intended to “help businesses identify and prevent the harassment of women”, as well as “bring about a cultural change” by bringing the safety and wellbeing of female staff and customers to the forefront of the night time economy. 

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More than 40 businesses have come forward to pledge their support to the charter so far.

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“When I became the Leader of the city of Manchester, I pledged to put the women and girls at the heart of what we do to make Manchester a fairer and safer city,” Cllr Bev Craig said on the implementation of the charter.

“Over the last nine months, there has been additional investment in tackling misogyny and violence, and this is a great example of the practical steps we are taking. 

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“It is incredibly important that we do everything in our power to ensure that women can feel safe in Manchester.

“We have a well-justified reputation for an outstanding night-time economy, but that accolade must be earned. The Night Time Safety charter is a call to collective action for any organisation who works, resides, designs or delivers services in our city, so join us and make a Manchester-wide push to help make Manchester the safest, most welcoming city in the country.”

Featured Image – Karl Hedin (via Unsplash)