No girl should be harassed on her way to school. Together, we can create safer cities for girls.

*Content warning: The below contains sexual harassment*

Juliet is a single mother living in Kampala, the bustling capital of Uganda. Growing up in such a big city, Juliet regularly faced harassment on her daily walk to school. So much so that Juliet believes she might not have gotten pregnant so young if she hadn't been forced to endure so much harassment.

"I was passing the boda boda station on my way home and these boys started saying vulgar things to me," she recalls. "One of them touched my bum – so I slapped him. He was about to start fighting me when a boy came and defended me."

And while this 'boy' had been happy to help her, he also wanted something in return. "He used to say things like: "You don't want to do me a favour" says Juliet. After a time, Juliet capitulated to his demands and became the young man's girlfriend. Soon she was pregnant – and he disappeared.

That was when Juliet discovered Plan International's Safer Cities for Girls program, which aims to build safe, accountable and inclusive cities with and for adolescent girls. It's given her a vehicle to challenge the sexual harassment and misogyny in her city – and now Juliet works with other young women who have suffered harassment, giving them advice and helping them identify solutions.

"I use the knowledge I've gained from Safer Cities to mentor my daughter and club members to be better girls full of confidence and esteem … I'd like to teach her [Juliet's daughter] you don't need to rely on a boyfriend to provide for you or defend you – you can stand up for yourself."

Together with you, we can support girls like Juliet who are working to end the culture of sexual harassment, so that cities are safer for all girls.
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