Cat's whiskers salon

Canton hair salon now a ‘safe space’ for women and girls

Female-run salon hopes more businesses will join their effort to create havens for those feeling worried or in danger

A CANTON-BASED hair salon has declared itself a ‘safe space’ for women and girls who feel intimidated on the street.

The salon shared its intention to become a ‘safe space’ for women and girls on social media, following the announcement of the Angel hotel earlier this week.

One of Cat’s Whiskers directors, Emma Richards, 39, said that after having conversations with its all-female staff they thought about how they could make others feel safe.

director Emma Richards standing in front of the Cat’s Whiskers salon in Canton

“At some point everyone has felt intimidated, and we shared those experiences.  

“We thought the more women are aware of safe spaces the better, especially being a female-facing industry,” said Ms Richards.

The initial post garnered a lot of support, with one customer of the salon suggesting similar-minded businesses should put little signs in their window to help people identify safe spaces.

This week M&S and Asda also announced that anyone who felt unsafe could go into their stores.

The unisex salon is located on Cowbridge Road East in Canton, just opposite the Co-Op and open until 6pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8pm on Thursday and Friday and 5pm on Saturdays.

“We’re really happy to have re-opened but because of the restrictions we feel that women who feel they are in danger might think that they couldn’t come in, so we wanted to make it clear that you can,” Ms Richards added.  

The problem of public sexual harassment is not Canton specific but “the world in general” Ms Richards told the Cardiffian.

A YouGov survey commissioned by UN Women UK shows that almost nine in 10 women in some cities across the world felt unsafe in public spaces, while 80% of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces in the UK.

In Cardiff, two midwifery students have started chalking statistics and personal stories of harassment on the streets in a campaign against cat-calling.  

“I hope other businesses follow our lead,” Ms Richards told the Cardiffian.