Building partnerships to transform children’s lives for over 80 years
This review covers the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.
Our main areas of work
All our programmes focus on enabling vulnerable and excluded children to learn, lead, decide and thrive, across our six main areas of work .
We want vulnerable and excluded children, particularly girls, to have the education they need to succeed in life. This means promoting quality education that is accessible to all.
We want vulnerable and excluded young people, especially young women, to be resilient, gain knowledge and skills, access opportunities and engage actively in decent work of their choosing.
We want girls, boys and young people to have the power to take action on issues that matter to them. We want them to shape the decisions that affect their lives by leading change within their own communities and influencing decisions at higher levels.
We want vulnerable and excluded children, particularly girls, to have control over their lives and bodies. We want them to be able to make informed choices about sexuality and relationships, and if and when to have children.
We want vulnerable and excluded young children, particularly girls, to grow up well cared for and equally valued.
We want vulnerable and excluded children, particularly girls, to grow up free from violence, fear or discrimination and we work with families, communities and governments to end all forms of violence against children.
Click on the events below to find out what happened.
September 2018 A voice for girls in crises
The High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region brought together key organisations to strengthen the response to this complex crisis. We used our report Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices from the Lake Chad Basin to ensure girls’ specific needs were not ignored.
This work was included alongside research from the Rohingya crisis and South Sudan in a global report in time for the United Nations’ General Assembly. It provided a never before seen perspective from girls enduring the world’s most protracted crises.
October 2018Global campaign launch
The global youth-led campaign for gender equality Girls Get Equal launched on the eve of the Day of the Girl in 47 countries. The campaign has three core demands for girls – equal freedom to speak out without fear of violence, equal power to take the lead and shape the world around them, and equal representation in media and entertainment – to challenge the stereotypes and discrimination that hold them back. By the end of June, the campaign was active in 62 countries.
October 2018A record-breaking #GirlsTakeover
Over 2000 takeovers took place in 60 countries in a global display of girls’ power and leadership potential. Takeovers included the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Vice President of Uganda, the news desk at BBC Africa, deputies at the National Assembly of Ecuador, parliamentarians in Senegal, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of UN Women.
“We are capable of making a difference. We have the ability to lead,” said Esther, who took over a management role in Liberia.
- In Nepal, 900 girls took over 300 community radio shows, talking about the Girls Get Equal campaign and the inequalities they face in their country.
- In China, we worked with 15 local influencers to reach 13.5 million users on the social media platforms Weibo and WeChat with messages about girls’ equality.
October 2018Unsafe in the City
This ground-breaking research, based on more than 21,000 online reports from girls and young women living in Delhi, Kampala, Lima, Madrid and Sydney revealed they were suffering relentless harassment and abuse in their cities.
“All girls have the right to feel safe in their city,” said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International. “Unsafe in the City provides the evidence to present to city bosses and planners, to encourage them to work with girls and young women to bring about change in our cities.”
October 2018Global action for local safety
To support youth advocates in Kampala, Uganda, calling on local authorities to make their city safer for girls, our offices in Australia and Belgium gathered 7000 signatures on an international Girls Get Equal petition. The authorities listened to the young people and agreed to improve safety and to campaign against street harassment.
December 2018Action for refugees
The Global Compact on Refugees – an international agreement between UN states on how to deal with large-scale crises – included strong references to the rights and needs of children, particularly girls, as a result of our advocacy alongside other NGOs and states. Access to education, services and opportunities were called out, along with increased efforts to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, and a push for increased political participation.
February 2019Challenging silence around periods
Over 55,0000 people called for a period emoji to be added to the global emoji keyboard to challenge the silence and stigma surrounding periods. The campaign was a success, and UNICODE began work to get this important emoji installed on smartphones across the globe.
Plan International UK campaigned successfully to get street harassment acknowledged in the UK government’s national strategy to end violence against women and girls.
March 2019Brazil bans child marriage
Brazil, the country with the fourth highest number of child brides in the world, passed a law banning the marriage of under-16s. The change came after campaigning from women’s rights organisations, and a Plan International petition with 12,000 signatures demanding better protection for girls at risk.
March 2019Share your power
On International Women’s Day we reached out to girls’ most important allies, women, to highlight how crucial their support for girls can be in driving gender equality for all. During this popular and successful Girls Get Equal action, we asked women to inspire, encourage and mentor girls as they speak out for what they believe.
April 2019Girls and tech
Girls’ access to technology and ICT skills is vital for gender equality. On Girls in ICT Day we drew attention to the digital gender gap and called for global leaders and educators to address it. Nine countries hosted 16 events training and supporting girls to become creators of technology and online content, while staying safe online.
June 2019Youth on a global stage
Plan International took 30 young global campaigners to Women Deliver, the world’s biggest gathering on gender equality to make sure girls’ voices were heard. Fatu, 20, from Sierra Leone, took the stage in a discussion about girls’ education with the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Maada Bio and former Australian PM Julia Gillard. “I felt so powerful,” said Fatu. “I was the only young person in that panel of inspirational women, and I’m presently seeing myself as the first female president of Sierra Leone!”
June 2019Taking the Lead
The Taking the Lead research found that a majority of girls aspire to be leaders, but nine out of ten believe women in leadership positions are treated worse than men. More than 10,000 girls across the world told us what holds them back. “We know from this research 62% of girls believe in themselves. But we need society to believe in us too. We need to smash stereotypes which limit our strength,” said Erika, a 21-year-old youth advocate from Ecuador, launching the report at Women Deliver.
June 2019Working together for change
At the Women Deliver conference we launched our Girls’ Plan, designed to challenge the many intersecting barriers that hold girls back from birth right up to adulthood. It details 6 key areas where investment is needed for girls and provides a holistic approach for partner organisations to work with us to overcome these injustices.
June 2019Data to drive change
Equal Measures 2030 launched its ground-breaking Gender Index measuring the progress of gender equality and the priorities of the Sustainable Development Goals to help drive government action. Plan International is a founding partner in Equal Measures 2030, which uses data to ensure girls’ and women’s rights become a priority in areas including health, climate change, economic opportunities, property rights and gender-based violence.
June 2019Groundbreaking convention on violence at work
The International Labour Organization adopted the first ever convention on violence and harassment in the world of work. Following advocacy by Plan International and allies, the convention acknowledged the unique vulnerabilities of girls and young women, plus a broad range of unacceptable workplace behaviours, in a historic win for gender equality.
The power of partnerships
We work with partners across the world to advance children’s rights and equality for girls and young women.
Innovation advances equality for girls
We are embracing experimentation to develop innovative and bold new approaches, products and services.
Financial overview 2019
What you will find
Plan International in numbersOur impact on children's lives
Where we work
Our strategyto transform the lives of 100 million girls
The power of partnerships
Innovation advances equality for girls
2019 financial overview
A year of global action for girls' rightsKey events that helped advance girls' rights
Our 6 main areas of work
- Quality, inclusive education
- Skills and decent work
- Young people driving change
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Early childhood development
- Protection from violence