Sheffield councillor to work with women's activism group to tackle “massive issue” of women's safety

One of the city’s leading councillors says the issue of women’s safety is a concern and needs to be part of a wider debate.

Coun Mary Lea has met with intersectional feminist group Our Bodies Our Streets (OBOS), with whom the Park Light campaign has joined forces to help them gain more support so the group can bring their issue to debate with the council.

Coun Lea, who was cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure until last week’s elections, said: “We’re all on the same page in terms of what women's safety means.

“It’s a massive issue.

“There needs to be a wider campaign about women's safety.”

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More than 5,000 signatures from Sheffield residents are needed to bring the campaign before the council and have their argument for improved and changed lighting in the city’s green spaces heard.

The lighting OBOS are fighting for is subtle light sources layered together, to improve safety for women in Sheffield parks.

These lights are much better for the environment than measures like floodlighting and CCTV.

Coun Lea added: “It’s about a wider debate than just street lighting.

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“It’s about women's safety generally, for me that’s about attitudes to women, and just getting that right from the right age.

“If you look back to 100 or 150 years ago, we could easily slip back.

“Women's rights, women's issues and attitudes to women have come a long way but easily they could fall back again if we’re not careful.

“We always have to be aware of that.”