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“Take Back the Night” events occurred in various communities in the last few weeks.  A movement that has its roots in 1970s feminists’ resistance to violence against women, its main focus is on making the nighttime streets of cities safe for a lone woman to walk.

This aspiration underlines how far we have come since the days when it was understood that no “respectable” woman could walk city streets unaccompanied even in daytime. It was dangerous and inappropriate. Making urban public spaces available to women even in the day was, noted historian Mary Ryan wrote, one of the “major civic project[s]” of the late 19th century. There is more of this project to complete.

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