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Now is the time to realise girls’ rights. Girls must have the power to lead so their rights are no longer ignored.

Girls celebrating in Ethiopia
Because I am a Girl is dedicated to ensuring gender equality

Girls continue to be the single most discriminated against and excluded group in the world simply because they are young and female.

Join the global movement for girls' rightsAs a result they suffer a number of injustices including having to drop out of school, being forced into early marriages and becoming pregnant whilst still a child.

Yet girls have the power to create lasting change in their lives and in the world around them. We know that when more young female voices included in decision making, communities and nations become more just and more prosperous.

In 2015, world leaders agreed upon Global Goals that will shape the development of our planet until 2030. Unless we unlock the power of girls we cannot achieve those targets and girls will continue to be left behind.

Global movement for girls’ rights and gender equality

Because I am a Girl supports the youth-led, global movement for girls’ rights and gender equality that is determined to achieve these Global Goals. To do this, we support girls and young women to take the lead and influence decisions that matter to them.

only 22% of the world’s parliamentarians are women.

Our experience in campaigning for girls’ rights has shown us that helping girls become leaders is essential to accelerating change and achieving gender equality.

Tackling gender inequality

Currently, only 22% of the world’s parliamentarians are women, there are only 14 female heads of state in the world and women account for only 4.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs. In critical spaces of power, very few women are in control. This must change.

Increasing female leadership in all areas of public and private life begins with supporting girls to lead today.

Supporting girls to claim power

  • Young people celebrate after campaigning for an end to child marriage in Malawi
    In February 2017 the Malawian government fully outlawed child marriage following a year-long youth campaign supported by Plan International. Memory, one of the youth campaigners: “We’ve helped end child marriage once and for all.”
  • Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes inaugurating girls as official ministers on International Day of the Girl
    On International Day of the Girl 2016 we supported 15 girls to take over positions in Paraguay’s parliament. The girls are now members of a National Council of Girls and are consulted on issues that affect them.
  • Young people campaigning for sexual health services in Uganda
    In Uganda, we supported girls to demand better access to sexual health services and information for young people. As a result, the government set up a mentoring programme to train health workers on providing sexual health services.
  • Children form a human chain to campaign against child marriage
    In Bangladesh, we helped 10,000 children come together to form a 14km human chain to campaign against child marriage in a country where over half of girls marry before 18.
  • Members of the youth coalition in Indonesia
    In Indonesia, we’ve set up a youth coalition for girls alongside the government. This involves young people pro-actively reaching out to communities to inform others of their rights and encourage them to campaign on issues that matter to them.
  • Odelia, 17, launching the girls' action plan at a press conference
    In Timor-Leste, we organised the country’s first girls’ conference. Over 250 girls came together and created a 3-year action plan to stop discrimination against girls and women which they presented to their government.
  • Girls marching through São Luís, Brazil
    In Brazil, girls from a Plan International girls’ leadership project marched to call for an end to the rape culture in their country.
  • Joyce, 14, was part of the successful campaign to secure free sanitary pads for all girls in Kenyan state schools
    In Kenya we supported girls to successfully campaign for their government to introduce free sanitary pads for girls in state schools. One of the campaigners, Joyce, 14, (pictured): “I feel so happy that the government listened to us.”

As a result, we’re standing with girls around the world to challenge the idea that leadership is solely for men and we’re creating pathways for girls and young women to claim power where it matters to them. This is critical to realise our vision of a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We will increase our support for youth-led activism on girls’ rights and expand our base of supporters and champions for girls’ rights around the world.

Earlier this year, for instance, we supported the successful, youth-led campaign to remove a loophole in Malawi’s child marriage law which had allowed children between 15 and 18 to marry with parental consent.

The scale of change we want to see will only be possible if all members of the movement work together – from grassroots to global. This is why we bring people together every year on the International Day of the Girl and support girls and young women to take up positions of power.

Join the global movement for girls’ rights