Make Kampala safe for girls

UPDATE: THANK YOU FOR STANDING WITH GIRLS IN KAMPALA!

Here’s a short note from our youth campaigners, Jackline, Sharon and Zaharah .


The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has listened to us! Our request to make Kampala safer was informed by the experiences of young women and girls in Kampala, so we are very pleased by the KCCA’s response. The authority was supportive of all our asks and some of the work is already underway!

We delivered the thousands of petition signatures to the KCCA when we met to discuss our requests. It was great to be able to show that we do not stand alone, that our campaign is backed by people all over the world!

It’s so important that girls and young women are free to go to school, or work or simply spend time with their friends in our city without fear.

In response to our campaign, the KCCA has committed to scale up security lighting and the naming of streets, clean trenches to prevent flooding, demolish unfinished buildings and ensure new buildings meet requirements for accessibility. They have also agreed to run the public awareness campaign we asked for, to change attitudes and tackle street harassment!

With your support we are much closer to creating a Kampala that is safe and inclusive for everyone. Thank you.

We won’t stop here. Together with Plan International Uganda we will work closely with the KCCA to make sure these actions are implemented and that they make a real difference for girls.

Thank you once again for being part of our campaign! The messages of support and solidarity from Australia have been a huge encouragement to us. We will continue our campaign knowing that people all over the globe stand with us!

Stand with girls in Kampala to stop robbery, rape and harassment


Jackline, Sharon and Zaharah are campaigning to make their city safe for girls. They want their Capital City Authority to step up to make Kampala free from violence and harassment – and we’re backing them.

Kampala, the capital of Uganda, is one of the fastest growing cities on earth. But while this creates huge new opportunities for girls, it also means staggering levels of violence and harassment in the city.

Jackline, Sharon and Zaharah are part of Plan International’s Safer Cities program in Kampala, which has already had success working with local authorities, police and boda boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers to address threats to girls’ safety in the city. Now they want to take their work to the next level by advocating to the Kampala Capital City Authority led by the Lord Mayor of Kampala.

It’s time the Capital City Authority acts to make the city a place where everyone can succeed.

The petition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign

This petition is part of Plan International Australia’s ongoing Half a Billion Reasons campaign. Together we call on the Australian Government to prioritise gender equality for girls in Australia’s aid and foreign policy.

Meet the campaigners

Jackline, Sharon and Zaharah are all members of Plan International’s Safer Cities program. The program works with girls to provide them with the training and resources they need to advocate for change and to make sure that girls’ voices are heard by powerful people. Together, these girls are taking back their city.

Meet the campaigners - Jacklin

Jacklin

I have a friend who was passing near a place where boys were sitting. This boy who came and told her, I love you. She was like I don't love you. The boy said, okay.  It's okay. You'll see tomorrow when you pass here.

The next day she was passing she found like the boys waiting for her, they came grabbed her, beat her up then they were like you should never say no to our friend whenever he says he loves you.

They were like, you have to give him a kiss for you to survive if you refuse we beat you again. She had to give the boy a kiss and then walk away.

“I want sexual harassment to end. I want girls to feel safe in their community and I want girls to stop being silent about what happens to them”

 

Meet the campaigners - Sharon

Sharon

“I don’t feel safe in my neighbourhood because girls are seen as sex objects, considered weak and always less valued compared to the boys.”

I want to be a role model in my community. I am the chairperson of the safer cities club in my area. At times I act like a counsellor to my fellow girls with an aim of preventing child mothers because I experienced being one already and I suffered a lot.

Meet the campaigners - Zahara

Zaharah

“One day I was going to the market then a boda boda man said that you small young girl, come and I’ll take you. He did this in a suggestive way and I looked at him wondering why he could say such a thing when I wasn’t interested.”

If I am given a chance to change my community I will work on my village to put street lights, clean on trenches to avoid floods, stop unplanned houses and teach my fellow girls on the advantage of being a girl. If we do not have safety in our community, it leads to early pregnancies and it leads to drop out of school.

EIGHTY PERCENT OF GIRLS IN KAMPALA DON’T FEEL SAFE IN PUBLIC SPACES.1

It’s not hard to see why - robbery, rape and harassment are common. 

Reported crime is increasing with 1,099 cases of rape investigated in 2014 compared to 1,042 cases in 2013, an increase of 5.4%.2

While the Kampala Capital City Authority have made some progress in naming streets, there are many that still don’t have names, especially in the outskirts of the city, which makes it difficult for police to respond when things go wrong. This coupled with the lack of street lighting and empty, unfinished buildings make girls vulnerable to violence especially at night. 

 

We have just a few weeks to make some noise. We’ve secured a meeting with the Kampala Capital City Authority in late November.

Jackline, Sharon and Zaharah want to show the Capital City Authority how many people support their campaign to get better street lighting, demolish unsafe, unfinished buildings, have all streets named,and to make sure that everyone in the community understands the impact of violence and harassment on girls in Kampala.

 


1. Plan International and UN Habitat report: Adolescent Girls’ Views on Safety in Cities 2013
2. Uganda Bureau of Statistics: Statistical Abstract 2016