14-year-old Ghene from the Philippines is a committed girls’ rights activist dedicated to changing the reality for girls in her community and country.
“The treatment of girls is unequal to boys. Girls cannot participate in some activities,” she says. “I dream of seeing a great change in gender equality and girls’ education in my community, my country, and in my life too.”
She is one of Plan International’s global group of adolescent girl advocates who have spent the last year campaigning for girls’ rights to be placed at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In her role, she attended the World Education Forum in Korea in May 2015. More recently, she was one of nine youth delegates to attend the historic UN General Assembly in September 2015 when the goals were officially adopted.
Ghene helped draft the Adolescent Girls’ Charter which outlines five key actions governments must take to make progress on the goals and targets most critical to girls’ lives.
Since becoming involved in Plan International’s activities in her community, Ghene has gone from being “a simple, shy girl” who didn’t have the courage to speak out to a confident young women. “My leadership skills and confidence have improved,” she says.
With the support of her family, she knows how to handle any setbacks. “I feel disappointed if I fail or face criticisms; sometimes I feel discouraged,” she says. “In my journey, my family offer me encouragement. I’m on my way. I know I have the potential just like other girls.”