GBV, SHE-covery, and empowering women

Talking with Katherine O’Neill from YWCA Edmonton and Jan Reimer of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS)

L I V E talking about GBV, SHE-covery, and empowering women out of this crisis!

Talking with Katherine O'Neill from YWCA Edmonton and Jan Reimer of Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS)

Posted by Bev Esslinger on Thursday, June 25, 2020

Edmonton Transit Announces A Gender-Based Approach

On March 12 at Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage, Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) announced their unique gender-based approach to further enhance transit safety and security, with a focus on women and girls.

ETS will be one of the first transit agencies in North America to use gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) to enhance safety and security for riders. This tool looks at how different genders and diverse people experience policies, programs and initiatives. ETS will also be connecting directly with community groups and agencies, like the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE) and the ETS Advisory Board, to better understand root causes of safety concerns, particularly for women and girls.

ETS will continue to implement safety and security-related changes to further improve safety for customers, employees, and communities in Edmonton. Taking a holistic approach to safety, ETS will incorporate GBA+ processes, customer journey mapping, and community stakeholder engagement into further planning.

As part of the City’s participation in the United Nations Women’s Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative, we will focus on including diverse perspectives using a GBA+ lens in the work focusing specifically on women and girls. By improving safety for women and girls, we will further enhance safety for everyone.

In consultation with WAVE and the ETS Advisory Board, ETS heard feedback that a text alert feature, to discreetly report safety and security concerns, would help further enhance transit safety. As a result of this feedback, as well as findings from the 2018 UN Women’s Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Leaders’ Forum, ETS is working through a full analysis to introduce a text alert feature this summer. Text alerts would go directly to the ETS Control Centre.

Safety and security is always the City’s top priority. ETS provided an update in October 2019 that included sharing the positive results that have been achieved over the last year since an investment in physical and workforce security features such as Operator shields, security guards and upgrades to LRT Stations and Transit Centres. Positive results include a 52% reduction in mischief/vandalism at transit centres and LRT stations, a 25% reduction in crime on transit property, increased perception of safety since last fall, improved surveillance and reporting, and additional support for employees.

Women’s Initiative

Edmonton has a rich history of incredible, strong women who believed that they could make a difference in their world. Like my predecessors, (Click Here to Learn More about the Famous Five!) I want to encourage & empower women from all walks that they to have a voice in our city.

Women constantly & consistently use their voices to speak up for others, whether it’s advocating for their child in school, speaking up and ensuring quality care for sick family member, or just being a voice of encouragement and inspiration with a friend over coffee…so why not speak up and speak out and take an active role in transforming our communities.

Maybe you’ve been waiting for somebody to give you permission and say, “Your ideas are important, and your voice matters.” Well, let me be the first of many to say to you today, your ideas are important and your voice matters! Can you imagine a community, and City that created forums and opportunities for you to use your voice to make a positive impact in your community? We need everyone to speak up… you have a voice, and it’s your choice whether or not you are going to use it!

My hope is that through the Women’s initiative and WAVE, and including events like our Women’s symposium, that we are giving women an opportunity to voice their concerns and aspirations for our city and the issues we are facing.

Everyone has a voice….and it is our choice whether or not we use it. There are many places we can speak up but I want to use my voice to empower others to use their voice. Together we can build a strong community.

I look forward to hearing from you!

– Councilor Bev Esslinger