Do girls and young women feel safe in their city? Have they already had to experience sexual harassment, discrimination, or violence? In order to find out, the child rights organization Plan International Deutschland asked us to build the "Safer Cities Map". Over a period of eight weeks - from January 13 to March 13, 2020 - the interactive map will be used to collect experiences of girls and women that they have had in their city - starting off with the four major German cities of Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, and Munich.
On the campaign website www.plan.de/safer-cities-map, users can select and comment on places that they consider safe or unsafe. This can refer to cat-calls or inappropriate comments on public transport, poorly lit streets on the way home, or even just a bad feeling when jogging in the park. The data will then be evaluated and published in a report in mid-June 2020. The results will show whether girls and women can move freely and safely in their city and what dangers they are facing in their everyday life. At the same time, the results will form the basis for initiating positive changes in the cities - for example with the help of key decision-makers in urban planning, architecture, and public transport.
Maike Röttger, Managing Director of Plan International Germany: "Every girl and every woman has the right to move freely, safely, and without fear in their city. But unfortunately, the reality is different. Day after day, girls and young women all over the world experience sexual harassment, discrimination, and violence: on the way to school, on the train, while shopping or walking in the park. The Safer Cities Map is designed to ensure that their voices are heard and that the problems become visible."
An earlier survey by Plan International in the metropolises of Delhi, Sydney, Kampala, Lima, and Madrid has already shown that a large proportion of girls and young women don't feel safe in the city. Almost 80 percent of the 21,000 place marks were negative. To make the big cities safer for girls and women, Plan International launched the "Urban Programme - Safer Cities for Girls" with UN-Habitat in 2014. The program is currently being implemented in 12 countries, including Egypt, India, Peru, Vietnam, Australia, and Spain.
This text is based on the "Safer Cities Map" press release issued by Plan International (German only).