Arab Girls’ Summit: A space for girls and young women to make their voices heard
To mark International Day of the Girl Child 2022, the Arab Girls’ Summit was held for the first time from 10 to 12 October in Amman, Jordan.
Through our Champions of Change programme, we work with girls and their communities so they can learn, lead, decide and thrive.
Girls in Jordan are at risk of gender-based violence and early or forced marriage. Young Jordanian and Syrian refugee girls can be kept from going to school for various cultural reasons and financial desperation can lead parents to force their daughters into early marriage.
According to Jordanian law, 18 is the legal age for marriage, but a girl can get married as young as 15 if a judge allows.
Awareness and knowledge among communities of gender-based violence is limited, and a number of factors contribute to an exacerbation of child marriage, such as the prolonged nature of displacement, economic insecurity, the perception that marriage will provide protection for girls in an unstable environment, and a lack of alternative opportunities.
Girls who do not attend school are more likely to be married early or turn to domestic work, and survivors of child marriage are at higher risk of other types of sexual and gender-based violence.
Plan International Jordan is working to confront gender inequality, gender-based violence, gender roles, and stereotypes. We support adolescent girls in Jordan’s host communities and Azraq refugee camp to provide them with life skills and vocational training to give them alternative options to early marriage.
Our programmes work with adolescent girls and boys to raise awareness of gender based violence. We help adolescents build their self-confidence and learn how to protect themselves and stand up for their rights. Our activities teach the importance of consent and respecting others, as well as supporting survivors of abuse to find different ways to cope.
Plan International Jordan also works on sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescent girls and boys, providing them with trustworthy information about sexual health and the physical and emotional changes they experience during puberty.
In the context of Jordan’s taboo culture, we find creative ways to discuss sensitive topics, such as sex, birth control, healthy relationships, and early marriage, with adolescents in safe spaces.
Plan International’s Champions of Change programme empowers girls to make healthy decisions and take control over their lives. We understand that by creating supportive spaces for girls to learn, they can be emboldened to lead, decide, and thrive.
We work in communities to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality and the benefits of education for girls. This means we also work with parents, boys, and men in encouraging them to support the girls in their families and local communities.