Safer Cities for Girls


Global (15 cities)


Hà Noi, Vietnam: 4.3m1

Kampala, Uganda: 3.0m1

Lima, Peru: 10.4m1

New Delhi, India: 28.5m1

Growth Rate

Hà Noi, Vietnam: 3.60%2

Kampala, Uganda: 5.14%2

Lima, Peru: 1.44%2

New Delhi, India: 2.70%2

Key Stakeholders

  • Children

  • Adolescents

Children Adolescents

Other Stakeholders

  • Local NGOs, CSOs, CBOs

  • City Authorities

  • Other Service Providers

  • State / Federal Actors

  • Academia

  • Schools

  • Local Small Business

  • Donors

  • Multilateral Organisations

Local NGOs, CSOs, CBOs City Authorities Other Service Providers State ; Federal Actors Academia Schools Local Small Business Donors Multilateral Organisations

Relevant SDGS

  • 3 Good Health
  • 5 Gender Equality
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


City and Sector

City and Sector





Increasing adolescent girls’ (13-24) safety in and access to public spaces and their active and meaningful participation in finding solutions for safe and autonomous mobility.



  • By 2030, around 700 million girls will live in urban areas.3

  • In Hà Noi, Vietnam, 36% of girls reported that they rarely had access to emergency services – notably the police.3

    In Kampala, Uganda, 45% of girls reported being sexually harassed on public transport.3

    In Lima, Peru, only 2.2% of girls reported always feeling safe when walking in public spaces.3

    In New Delhi, India, 96% of adolescent girls do not feel safe in the city.3

  • Following the 2018 ‘Unsafe in the City’ research, more recent global surveys by Plan reveal that women all around the world do not feel safe in their cities. For instance, similar proportions of girls and women in capital or large cities in Australia (75%), Germany (72-85%), Peru (89%), Spain (84%) and Uganda (80%) rated public spaces as unsafe.


In this interview, Plan International colleagues and young women activists from the Safer Cities for Girls programme, tell us why adolescent girls have unique and specific experiences and needs in public spaces and why it is important to sensitise decision-makers, adolescent boys and the wider community to these, as well as what this global programme looks like locally in cities around the world, using innovative participatory methods for young people to lead change in their cities.

We’re seeing that irrespective of the country, the different geographies, the cultures, girls feel unsafe in public spaces…there is a strong breakdown in accountabilities towards adolescent girls in cities.

Yllaylee Das

Global Programme Manager - Safer Cities for Girls, Plan International

We always put adulthood in the middle. We think that we can solve the problems that involve adolescents but from our point of view. And that’s something that has been changing step by step, and that we have contributed with the project.

Diana Rodríguez López

Country Lead for Safer Cities for Girls, Plan International, Peru

Adolescents are agents of change. We are not only the future, we are the present and the future.

Marjorie Mauricio

a young activist involved in Safer Cities for Girls in Lima, Peru

It’s really important to have the voice of young people in the decision-making process…we are the future and we can be the generation that makes changes.

Duong Phuong Anh

a young activist involved in Safer Cities for Girls in Hanoi, Vietnam

Key Programme Activities

  • Community engagement

  • Data/technology

  • Education/behaviour change

  • Organisational training/skills building

  • Policy/advocacy

  • Research

  • Stakeholder co-ordination and network-building

Key Outcomes

Since 2014, Safer Cities for Girls has worked with young people in a sustained manner to develop leadership skills to effect positive change in communities and young people’s access to public spaces and services. It has:

  • Directly reached 40,000 girls, 25,000 boys, 700,000 community members, 4,000 transportation stakeholders and 2,500 government stakeholders in 15 cities around the world.

  • In Vietnam, included young people’s concerns and recommendations in the Hà Noi District Development Plan for the 2020–25 period.

  • In Uganda, enabled the adoption of recommendations from young activists to ensure safeguards against sexual harassment in public transportation in reforms to the Traffic and Road Safety Act.

  • In India, with the National Institute of Urban Affairs, engaged young people in the development of child- and adolescent-friendly indicators in the cities’ Master Plan.

  • Photo Credits
  •  – Plan International
  • Notes
  •  – 1 Statistics from UN World Urbanization Prospects (2018)
  •  – 2 Statistics from UN World Urbanization Prospects (2018), estimated average annual growth rate (2020-25)
  •  – 3 Statistics from Plan International

Innovation Report     2020