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Safer Cities for Girls programme
Description/achievement of initiative

The Safer Cities for Girls programme focuses on building safe, accountable, and inclusive cities with and for adolescent girls (aged 13-18). The expected outcomes of the programme include (i) Increased girls' safety and access to public spaces, (ii) Increased girls' active and meaningful participation in urban development and governance; and (iii) Increased girls' autonomous mobility in the city.

Implementation methodologies

Safer Cities for Girls is a long-term gender transformative programme, working to tackle unequal power relations and challenge harmful social norms that perpetuate insecurity and exclusion of girls in cities. The programme works across three levels of change: (1) with governments and institutions to influence municipal and national actors and policy makers to make laws and city services more receptive and inclusive to girls' safety; (2) with families and communities to promote a supportive social environment that promotes girls' safety and inclusion in cities; and (3) with girls and boys themselves to engage them to be active citizens and agents of change by building capacities, strengthening assets, and creating opportunities for meaningful participation. By working to confront social and cultural norms that allow for the manifestation of unequal gender power relations across these three levels, girls' and women's lives in cities will be transformed, reflected in a fundamental shift of their social positions.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Capacity building trainings programmes have been developed for girls, boys, community members, government stakeholders, and transportation staff. A robust training curriculum for adolescent girls on girls empowerment and safe and inclusive cities has been developed to help girls learn about their rights, empower them to speak out and communicate about issues of safety and inclusion, and encourage girls to believe in the legitimacy of their own voice in creating sustainable change. The Being Safe in the City training module is part of Plan Girls Champions of Change global curriculum for girls empowerment. A training curriculum programme for adolescent boys has been developed that engages boys and men in a dialogue, challenging and transforming harmful gender norms, and building a social movement for the promotion of new models of masculinities and for gender equality. The materials are part of Plan Boys Champions of Change global curriculum on gender equality and girls rights. Trainings for community stakeholders, including community partners, leaders, and parents, have been organised to learn about girls safety and inclusion in cities, and to advocate for change together with girls and boys. A two-day training curriculum for government stakeholders on adolescent girls safety and inclusion has been developed to enhance government stakeholders knowledge and capacity on gender equality, gender-based violence, the right to the city and inclusive urban planning, and the importance of building safe and inclusive urban policies and plans. A two-day training curriculum for transit staff and authorities has been developed to enhance their knowledge and capacity on gender equality and discrimination in transportation systems, gender-based violence and sexual harassment in transportation, the right to the city and urban mobility, and planning for inclusive transportation systems. In addition, awareness raising campaigns have been developed in the participating cities to sensitise the general public and users of transportation services about the safety issues facing adolescent girls and to enhance bystander awareness and intervention. In relation to technology, the programme is piloting and adapting initiatives, including the Block-by-Block Minecraft methodology, and using ICT4D and technology.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

Plan International is the implementing partner in the Safer Cities for Girls programme. The Safer Cities for Girls programme is currently being implemented in ten cities around the world Delhi, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; Cairo, Alexandria and Assiut, Egypt; Kampala, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; Lima, Peru; Asunci, Paraguay; and Honiara, Solomon Islands with plans of scaling up the programme to over 20 cities by 2022. Plan International is an international expert on children's rights and empowerment, and has coordinated hundreds of projects with girls, which will help inform the programme intervention. Founded over 70 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world. Plan works in over 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. The programme is linked with Plan Internationa. Because I am a Girl campaign to empower girls, promote gender equality, and remove barriers that girls face in achieving their rights. Central to the work of Plan is guaranteeing genuine and active participation of girls. Adolescent girls have also consistently validated this programme along the way. Plan Country Offices in these cities are utilising their established relationships with government officials, community members, and adolescent girls to achieve the objectives of the programme.


Plan International, UN HABITAT, Women in Cities International
Progress reports
Goal 5
Goal 11
Goal 16
Increased girls safety and access to public spaces.
Increased girls active and meaningful participation in urban development and governance.
Increased girls autonomous mobility in the city.
Other, please specify
Financial support from various Plan fundraising offices; technical guidance and expertise from the global programme managers

Basic information
Time-frame: January 2014 - January 2030
Plan International, UN HABITAT, Women in Cities International
Contact information
Alana Livesey, Global Programme and Advocacy Manager, Safer Cities for Girls, alana.livesey@plan-international.org
United Nations