Charity Declares Leeds as the First ‘Women-Friendly City’ in UK

Next year’s International Women’s Day will mark the beginning of Leeds becoming the UK’s first Women Friendly City. 

The announcement came earlier this week from Women’s Lives Leeds who has spent the past 2 years getting the project off the ground.

Women’s Lives Leeds (WLL) is an assembly of 11 Leeds-based organisations providing support systems to ensure safe and healthy lives for all women and girls in the city. 

Through this new development, WLL will be able expand upon its existing work as well as cracking down on “the issues and challenges that can prevent women and girls realising their potential”.   

WLL is planning to build upon the concept of a Women Friendly City, first introduced by the United Nations in 2006. 

The programme was created with the express purpose to make sure women are “supported and encouraged to participate in all areas of urban life on an equal basis with men.’’ 

Following on from this model, WLL will ultimately aim to make Leeds a city in which gender cannot impede access to education, employment, healthcare and social services in the community. 

“Our Vision: That many more women and girls in Leeds will have their needs met and be empowered to lead safer and healthier lives.”


The initiative will roll out over the next four years thanks to funding pledged by Comic Relief. 

The grant is a remarkable feat for the Leeds-based group, who were one of just seven organisations given backing by the ‘Power Up’ Initiative in the UK, out of a total 700 bids from all around the world.  

The long-running charity has already awarded grants to a number of female-oriented organisations in Leeds. These include Getaway Girls, which seeks to empower young women in the community, and Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL). 

WLL is expected to flesh out its ambitious plans in greater detail before the end of the year. 

Elliott Hodgkin – News Editor

Image – Pixabay