“Because I Am a Girl” campaign works to impact lives of women in developing countries

Worldwide, one in five girls is denied an education due to the realities of poverty, discrimination and violence. Each day, girls from every corner of the world are taken out of school, married far too young and subjected to violence in school. Unfair and unjust, these facts play into a massive waste of potential with serious global consequences.

Plan International is a top ranked organization with 75 years of experience in providing aid and support around the globe. They are the first major organization to create an international day of recognition for girls, called Day of the Girl, to be celebrated Oct. 11. Recently, Plan USA has launched a special campaign called “Because I am a Girl” that aims to directly reach out to 4 million girls to improve their lives with access to school, skills, livelihoods and protection in countries like Nepal, Brazil and Egypt.

Millions of girls are being denied an education at a time when their power to transform not only their lives, but the world around them is at an all-time high. When a girl makes it through both primary and secondary education, she takes a critical step in overcoming the cycle of poverty. According to Plan International, a girl who finishes secondary education is less likely to experience violence, marry young and have children while still a child. She is more likely to be literate, healthy enough to survive into adulthood, reinvest her income, understand her rights and be a force for change.

Why girls? Plan International believes real change takes place when girls are valued. Plan’s main focus is with girls, communities, traditional leaders, governments and global institutions to make known what prevents girls around the world from completing their education.

Their focus is on the many different issues women in poverty face throughout their lives. Prioritizing girls’ completion of secondary education, providing funding for such education to be increased and maintained, putting an end to child marriage and putting an end to gender-based violence in schools are just a few of Plan’s desired changes in the near future.

There are many ways anyone can make an impact with “Because I am a Girl.” Plan International asks you to “raise your hand for girls” and sign a petition to make girls’ education a priority. You can also donate money, raise awareness with Plan USA tool kits or even sponsor a young girl from another country. Plan has also reached out through Instagram, coining the hashtag #bebold4girls that encourages girls around the country to display what makes being a girl so great.

To learn more about the “Because I am a Girl” campaign, watch videos or see what role you can play in helping girls around the world, visit plan-international.org/girls. You can also follow Plan International on Instagram @PlanUSA and their campaign @bcimagirl to view how other girls are transforming their worlds.

a.bentz@chronicle.utah.edu

@ChronyArts

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