UN and Plan International in global action for girls

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Plan International and UN Women are partnering to help girls and young women across the world to increase their political voice, better realise their human rights and develop their skills and economic potential.

A new partnership for the rights of girls and young women all over the world.

Plan International and UN Women will work together on programming, campaigning, advocacy and fundraising to increase the leadership and political participation of adolescent girls and young women.

“Girls and young women around the world are impatient to learn, lead, decide and thrive. This partnership will help build the strong movement for girls and women’s rights needed to secure gender equality within a generation,” said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International.

Lakshmi Puri and Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen at the partnership signing

Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, added, “UN Women remains committed to working with young women through its recently adopted youth and gender equality strategy ‘LEAPs Framework’, that calls upon strengthening young women’s leadership, promoting economic empowerment and skills development of young women and their skills development and action to end all forms of violence against young women and girls.”

The partnership will draw on the experience of Because I am a Girl, Plan International’s girls’ rights movement and UN Women’s Youth and Gender Equality Strategy framework*.

Ms Albrectsen continued, “Through the Because I am a Girl movement, we are committed to holding governments to account on the broad range of promises made to girls in the Sustainable Development Goals. We are delighted to stand with UN Women in this cause.

Driving gender equality

UN Women is the United Nations organisation driving gender equality and the empowerment of women. Under the partnership the 2 organisations will work together with boys and young men to achieve gender equality.

The organisations will combine efforts to support girls and young women to raise their voices and increase their participation in political processes and will work together to improve the economic security and empowerment of girls.

The drive to end all forms of violence against girls and women is also at the forefront of goals that Plan International and UN Women will work on together. 

Plan International’s Because I am a Girl movement has helped transform the lives of almost 5 million girls since it was launched in 2012 while UN Women’s Youth and Gender Equality Strategy provides a framework for strengthening initiatives for the empowerment of young women.

* Plan International is not responsible for the content of external sites. 

Notes to Editors:

  • Plan International is an independent child rights organisation that works to end poverty among children.
  • The organisation implements programmes in over 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, and raises funds in 21 countries. In 2015, Plan International worked with 85,280 communities. Plan International had a total income of €821.7 million over the financial year 2015. The organisation has over 1.1 million sponsors worldwide sponsoring more than 1.4 million children.
  • Plan International’s Because I am a Girl global movement aims to create a world that values girls, promotes girls' rights and ends injustice. The movement empowers girls and boys to become agents of change. Putting children’s voices at the centre of the social movement is a core belief that underpins Plan International’s work and our desire to create lasting change.
  • Through more than 500 girls-focused projects, Plan International helped transform the lives of more than 1.9 million girls in 2015 – bringing the total to almost 5 million girls directly reached since Because I am a Girl launched in 2012. In that same period, the lives of more than 40 million girls and boys were indirectly improved as a result of Plan International’s work, showing the impact gender programming has on broader communities, schools and families.
  • Find out more about the priorities of Because I am a Girl.

Key statistics

  • There are 62 million girls of primary and lower secondary school age not in school. 1 in 5 adolescent girls are out of school.
  • Girls with no education are 3 times as likely to marry by 18 as those with secondary education or higher.
  • Every 2 seconds a girl becomes a child bride, endangering their personal development and wellbeing. Child brides are often disempowered, dependent on their husbands and deprived of their fundamental rights to health, education and safety. 
  • Girls who give birth before the age of 15 are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth than girls in their early 20s. Infant deaths are 50% higher among babies born to mothers under 20 than among those born to women in their 20s.
  • 99% of the estimated 4.5 million forced into sexual exploitation globally are women and girls.
  • 90% of countries have at least one law that restricts economic equality for women. 
  • 75% of women’s employment in developing regions is informal and unprotected.
  • Family poverty has more impact on girls’ survival than boys’. A 1% fall in GDP increases infant mortality by 7.5 deaths per 1,000 births for girls as opposed to 1.5 deaths per 1,000 births for boys.
  • In 2008, for the first time, more than half of the world’s population – 3.3 billion people - lived in urban areas. 1/8th of the global population are migrants. More adolescent girls than boys are migrating into cities. Girls may leave homes in search of a better life; to find a job, access healthcare, get an education or to escape early marriage, violence and sexual abuse.
  • Adolescent girls face unique challenges in cities with safety featuring among their biggest concerns. Plan International’s urban programme found that in Delhi 96% of adolescent girls do not feel safe in the city. In Kampala 45% girls reported sexual harassment when using public transport. In Cairo, 32% of girls felt they could never talk to anyone about their safety concerns.
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