A workshop to discuss activities for the Because I'm a Girl: Urban Programme (BIAAG UP) joint Plan International, Women In Cities International (WICI), and UN-HABITAT project was organized in Hanoi last month. The project is part of a programme which seeks to engage girls in cities around the world to explore questions around gender inclusion, right to the city and safe cities. BIAAGE will be carried out in five cities globally including Cairo, New Delhi, Hanoi; Kampala, and Lima.
"In many countries, discrimination between boys and girls still happens. Parents and society focus more on boys than girls. However, girls are important factor for social and economic development because they will play a big part in their families. So today, we need to focus on the rights of girls. Girls need to be empowered to live, to manage their finances and prove their role in society," said Sven Coppens, Programme Director for Plan in Vietnam.
Ms Karyth from WICI said that by 2030 1.5 billion girls would have migrated to cities. So the project would promote accessibility for girls to urban services and public spaces. Once girls feel safe in public spaces they will have more opportunities to explore and improve their lives. In order to ensure the practicability of the project, girls would be involved in all stages of the project implementation process.
During the workshop, different stakeholders, such as Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Transportation, NGOs such as Health Bridge, LIGHT, CSAGA, Action for the City, and the Institute for Social Development Studies discussed the opportunities and challenges that girls in urban areas had to face and their roles in collaborating with BIAAG UP.
BIAAG UP's expected outcomes included Increased safety and access to public spaces for girls; Increased autonomous mobility for girls in the city, Improved access to quality city services, and increased active and meaningful participation in urban development and governance. The project will last five years and UN-HABITAT with its expertise in urban policy development will offer consultation for the project.