The New Urban Agenda, which will shape the future development of cities, was adopted by UN member states in Quito, Ecuador, at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).
At the conference, Plan International delivered a petition signed by thousands of people from over 90 countries calling on governments to improve the safety of cities for girls. In addition, recommendations were shared from our Urban Programme which puts girls’ voices at the centre of city planning to ensure their specific needs are met.
Cities must meet girls’ needs
The New Urban Agenda will guarantee girls’ safety, access to public spaces, and their ability to move freely in cities. It also states that girls should be actively involved in urban governance, including decision-making processes that impact their safety.
For the first time, girls have been recognised as a unique group that need protection
“Over half the world’s population now live in cities, and more than 20 million girls move, migrate or are displaced to cities each year. Yet they remain dangerous places for girls,” said Alex Munive, Global Girls’ Rights Programming Adviser for Plan International.
“It is an unacceptable state of affairs that in 2016 – 3 years after the Delhi bus attacks – sexual violence against girls and women in cities continues to make headlines around the world.
Safe cities for girls
“The adoption of the New Urban Agenda is therefore a breakthrough. For the first time, girls have been recognised as a unique group that need protection. If implemented properly, it has the potential to transform the lives of girls and young people.”
Plan International is now calling on governments to put girls at the centre of implementing the New Urban Agenda. In addition to listening to girls’ needs, governments must allocate sufficient resources so the bold plan for action that has been promised allows them to live in cities where they can follow their ambitions.