Filed under: Get Activist
It’s very easy to forget how privileged I am.
Recently I sat in my father’s kitchen in Mexico defending against the idea that the world is a darker and crueller place.
I had to laugh. I’d travelled across continents alone to be there, stopping along the way to have my voice heard and opinions sought. For me it isn’t dark. I have economic, intellectual, sexual and social freedoms not afforded to almost the entirety of womankind ’till now. But that only means that I have the responsibility to share a bit of the light to those that need it most.
I vividly remember my mother having to get my Dad to co-sign the loan on her first business. As a result every Kiva loan I have supports a woman in the developing world trying to support her family by her skills brought to fruition through having access to a sewing machine.
‘Because I am a Girl’ is Plan’s global campaign designed to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Across the globe, girls are at the bottom of the social ladder, deprived of the same opportunities as boys. For example,research has shown that girls are more likely to suffer from malnutrition; be forced into an early marriage; be subjected to violence or intimidation; be trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade; or become infected with HIV.
The campaign is based on a series of reports titled Because I am a Girl: The State Of The World’s Girls. To be published between2007–2015 from Plan International, these reports examine the rights and needs of girls throughout their childhood, adolescence and as young women – and how they are uniquely placed to break the cycles of intergenerational poverty gripping many people in developing countries.
Six of the eight Millennium Development Goals – the goals set by the world’s governments in 2000 to halve world poverty by 2015 – are unlikely to be achieved unless there is a greater international commitment to the fight against gender discrimination.Plan recognises that we have to address gender discrimination as a priority if we want to tackle the root causes of child poverty.Therefore we have made the commitment to ‘address gender inequality and the numerous ways in which the rights of girls and women are particularly denied and violated’ (Plan Program Framework, 2009–2013). This is the focus of the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign and will better enable Plan to achieve our overall mandate as a child-centred community development organisation, committed to child poverty eradication and all children accessing their rights.
You can download the 2010 Because I am a Girl report, ‘Digital and Urban Frontiers: Girls in a Changing Landscape’
You can find out how to support Because I’m a Girl here
And you can remember. You can be aware that the ease and access you enjoy now was built by the strength and sacrifice of generations before you. You can’t repay them but you can acknowledge your debt by lighting bridges of hope, access and equality for others. Shiny.
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