London has been named the best megacity for women, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, found that London was the most female-friendly, followed by Tokyo and Paris.
Cairo, the capital of the Arab world’s most populous country, was found to be the world’s most dangerous megacity for women, followed by Karachi in Pakistan, Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of the Congo, then the Indian capital New Delhi.
The survey asked experts in women’s issues in 19 megacities how well women are protected from sexual violence, and from harmful cultural practices, and whether they have access to good healthcare, finance and education.
Women’s rights campaigners in Cairo said traditions dating back centuries made it a tough city, with discrimination rife.
Omaima Abou-Bakr, co-founder of the Cairo-based campaign group, Women and Memory Forum said, “We’re still operating under a conservative country and it’s hard to take any radical progressive steps in the area of women and women’s laws.”
Shahira Amin, Egyptian journalist and women’s rights campaigner said, “Everything about the city is difficult for women.”
“We see women struggling in all aspects.”
“Even a simple walk on the street, and they are subjected to harassment, whether verbal or even physical.”
London topped the polls, buoyed by fee and universal National Health Service, as well as coming top for economic opportunities.
Speaking about the city being named best for women the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan said women were now leading at every level of society in London – in public service, the arts, politics, science and business – but there was more to do.
He said, “The progress we’re making as a city is not happening fast enough.”
“We must redouble our efforts to remove any barriers to women’s success and to unlock their full potential.”