This interactive tool puts the safety of Canberra’s women at the forefront

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In 2021, Australia had its own #metoo movement.

Taming grace. Brittany Higgins. Chanel Contos. These three women are just some of the people who have stood up to speak out about gender-based violence in Australia and now an interactive tool created by an independent think tank Women’s health matters puts the safety of Canberra women at the forefront of their agenda.

The Canberra Safety Card is a tool that allows women to rate dangerous and safe areas in the Canberra region, with the ability to add an anonymous commentary of their personal experience in these areas.

By allowing women to mark ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ places and note issues in the area, the map was created to help understand what elements contribute to women’s sense of safety in public spaces.

Currently using the map to help inform the ACT Government’s Woden Town Center redevelopment, Women’s Health Matters invites all women who may visit or live in the Woden area to contribute and assist in the development of the project.

As part of the project, Woden’s downtown redevelopment plan includes a new CIT campus and public transport interchange, aiming to create new public spaces and green spaces to enliven the neighborhood.

By understanding public safety through a gender lens and consulting local women on major urban design projects, organizations like Women’s Health Matters can bring these perspectives to government to effect real change.

Because for me to end #metoo, we need to go beyond the hashtag and make public spaces safe for everyone.

For more information, visit

Mara R. Wilmoth