Insights

Plan International boosts security of women with mobile App

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

KAMPALA, Uganda–Plan International Uganda has launched a mobile application called “SAFE FOR HER” that will help adolescent girls and young women know safe and unsafe areas in Kampala.

Launching the new application at the Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala, the state Minister for  ICT  Aidah Nantaba  in her remarks read by the Permanent  Secretary Ministry of ICT  Vincent Waiswa  Bagire  said that although Kampala city is one of the  fastest  growing  cities in Africa, the  growth has come with security challenges especially for girls and young Women.

“Girls and women remain the most vulnerable population when it comes to urban development. In Kampala, 80% of the girls report feeling unsafe in public places particularly markets, on the streets and recreational centers due to high incidences of rape and theft. Girls also continue to feel unsafe while on public transport or when walking and when using passenger taxis and motorcycles “Nantaba said in her statement.

According to Nantaba the application code named  ‘FREE TO BE” will help security stakeholders to Identify those places in the city that are unsafe to younger girls  and women who have been victims to criminal gangs in the city who sexually abuse the adolescents .

“We want girls and young women to be heard. We want their experience of the city to be known to people with power. With this Application, we can now collect data on safety  which is often  not readily  available  and it will  certainly  act  as a tool for preventive measures  against  all forms of abuse against girls which is on the rise in the city. With this App, one will now know that this place is not safe and will avoid it,” the Minister said.

The Programme Manager, Plan International Uganda in charge of  Kampala  Urban, Casiano  Kansiime said if the Application is embraced by the Young girls and women it will increase  girls’ active and meaningful participation in urban development and governance which is still big challenge.

The Safer Cities for Girls Programme is a globally united locally  led programme  developed  and Implemented  in partnership   between  plan International , Women  in Cities  International  and the United  Nations  Human  Settlements programme, the major objective of the program is to  build safe accountable  and inclusive  cities.

The Kampala programme  commenced in 2016  and its being Implemented in the divisions of  Kawempe, Rubaga and  Makindye  to tackle  issues of safety / security  for the adolescent  girls in the Kampala city. The programme seeks to engage girls in cities to explore questions around gender inclusion, the right to the city and safe cities for girls.

Through this App  young girls and women  are encouraged  to use  the web based  map  of their  city  by dropping  a purple  good  pin  on areas of the city  they enjoy  and an orange  for bad  pin  on the precise locations where they feel  unsafe.

The application development comes at a time when the country is experiencing rampant abductions of young girls and women where a majority of them have been killed by the criminals.

Kampala   Central  Divison area Member of Parliament, Mohamed Nsereko said developing and sharing ools like the #Safe For Her App, which are adaptable to  girls is important in order to enhance gender equality, inclusion, and sustainable development that can be utilized to achieve the  sustainable development goals.