The urban environment is a complex system in which physical and social aspects of living are strongly integrated. A city’s morphology, representing the key physical nature of the urban environment has a strong impact on urban functions, people's movement, liveability, safety and security. Nevertheless, gender-related perception, an important social quality that is affected by urban morphology and a city's design, has often been neglected in urban planning and research. Our research focuses, in particular, on city morphology in relation to women’s mobility through the relationships that exist between urban geometry, activity patterns and their effects on feelings of security. The city of Istanbul (Turkey) serves as a case study. Through the development of a theoretical framework and a number of survey methods (questionnaires, mental mapping and GIS), the design of urban morphology and mobility-related indicators, and the application of space syntax and spatial multi-criteria-analysis, a spatial attractiveness index was developed that helped to identify ‘areas of fear’ for women travellers in Istanbul. As such, linkages between qualitative and quantitative aspects of travel and the built-up environment are highlighted with respect to gender-sensitive perception, urban morphology and their interaction. The study demonstrates that women’s activities are closely connected to spatial-locational attributes, showing that women have specific perceptions related to urban morphology and daily transport patterns.