Girls speak out at UN
February 2012: A delegation of girls from poor rural communities across the world are sharing the harsh reality of their lives at a United Nations meeting in New York.
The 9 Plan-supported teenagers from Cambodia, Cameroon, Malawi, Pakistan and Sierra Leone will tell the Commission on the Status of Women* (CSW), of the daily challenges girls face in their communities – from early and forced marriage to polygamy and domestic violence.
The girls have already taken part in a Plan panel discussion ’Breaking vows: Ending early and forced marriage’ on 28 February and 'Empowering rural girls: From invisibility to agency' on 1 March.
As representatives from the UN member states gather to evaluate progress, identify challenges and set global policy relating to the empowerment of rural women, the girls will be advocating for:
- an end to early and forced marriage
- adolescent girls’ education
- the role for men and boys in advancing gender equality.
I want to decide who I marry
Teresa, aged 17 from Sierra Leone, is one of the delegates representing her peers, community and country.
“I want to be part of the decision of who I marry and when, I will decide how many children I will have... If I have daughters, they will go to school and have an equal place within the family. As adults they will take care of their children so that they too will enjoy their rights,” she said.
Follow the girls’ activities at the CSW via their blog on bcimagirl.tumblr.com
Join Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign to promote girls’ rights
Find out more about Plan's global work on child and youth participation
* Plan is not responsible for the content on external websites
Maryam: Early marriage has ruined Praveen's life
Maryam, 15, from Pakistan speaks out at a UN Commission on the Status of Women side event about a 12-year-old girl who was forced to marry in her community.