Because I Am a Girl (campaign)
Because I Am a Girl is an international campaign by the aid organization Plan. The campaign is made to address the issue of gender discrimination around the world. The goal of the campaign is to promote rights of girls and bring millions of girls out of poverty around the world. It is part of the organization's broader international development work. The campaign focuses on inequality faced by girls in developing countries, and promotes projects to improve opportunities for girls in education, medical care, family planning, legal rights, and other areas.
Plan International states that the campaign has several current goals, which in 2012 include:
- girls' education to be prioritised by world leaders
- girls' completion of a quality secondary education to be a major focus of international action
- funding for girls education to be increased
- an end to child marriage
- an end to gender-based violence in and around schools
- girls and boys to participate in decision making and inspire those with power to take action
Plan has targeted 4 million girls through direct programs and projects, and also has the goal of reaching 40 million girls and boys indirectly through gender programs. Plan has a further goal of positively impacting 400 million girls through lobbying for governmental policy changes.
The campaign began shortly after Plan International published its first annual report on the state of the world's girls in May 2007, titled "Because I am a Girl". The widely cited report, principally written by Nikki Van der Gaag, compiled and analyzed research into the extent of discrimination against girls worldwide and in the developing world in particular. Violence against girls, forced child marriage, endemic poverty, and many other topics were examined. Plan International developed the Because I am a Girl campaign as an ongoing initiative to launch projects aimed at remedying the challenges faced by girls.
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The Because I Am A Girl campaign has created a significant amount of controversy due to the fact that it advertises that only a "woman" can change the world. The campaign has been criticized as one-sided and biased.
Each year, a Because I Am a Girl report is released by Plan as an update on the state of the world's girls. The report has been produced annually since 2007. Researchers for the report visit girls throughout the world and summarize their findings in the report.
Reports released since 2007:
- 2007: The State of World's Girls
- 2008: In the Shadows of War
- 2009: Girls in the Global Economy: Adding It All Up
- 2010: Digital and Urban Frontiers
- 2011: Because I am a Girl: So What About the Boys?
- 2012: Because I am a Girl: Learning for Life
- 2013: In Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Girls and Disasters
Plan International has raised awareness of its campaign through innovative marketing, including a highly visible bus stop poster campaign. Plan International also initiated the International Day of the Girl Child, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as an annual observance day. The inaugural International Day of the Girl Child is October 11, 2012.
Plan Canada's Because I Am a Girl initiative created a petition to the Canadian government for a National Day of the Girl. This petition was designed to lobby the United Nations for an International Day of the Girl, initially to be observed on September 22. The stated goal was to bring international attention and awareness on the issue of gender inequality and allow for girls to obtain their rights. Canada sponsored a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly to observe the International Day of the Girl Child each October 11, a resolution that the UN voted to adopt.
In 2014 a school girl wrote a poem about forced marriage after discovering the Because I Am a Girl campaign. Her poem was published online by Plan UK.
- Plan International Because I Am a Girl campaign
- Plan Canada's Because I Am a Girl campaign
- Plan Italia Because I am a Girl
- "Discrimination against girls 'still deeply entrenched'", The Independent, 15 May 2007, p1
- Because I Am a Girl campaign at Plan International
- "Plan Goals". Plan International. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- International Development Committee (2008). Malcolm Bruce, ed. Maternal health: fifth report of session 2007-08, Vol. 2: Oral and written evidence. Parliament of Great Britain, House of Commons, The Stationery Office, 2008. p. 176. ISBN 9780215513847.
- Edwards, Alice (2010). Violence against Women under International Human Rights Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 279. ISBN 9780521767132.
- Enloe, Cynthia H. (2010). Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War. University of California Press. pp. No page. ISBN 9780520260771.
- Dupuy, Kendra E. and Krijn Peters (2010). War and Children: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 195. ISBN 9780313362088.
- Cahill, Kevin (2010). Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency. Fordham University Press. p. 333. ISBN 9780823231966.
- Report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. United Nations Publications. 2010. p. 19. ISBN 9789218201706.
- Leatherman, Janie L. (2010). Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict. Polity. p. 199. ISBN 9780745641874.
- "State of the World's Girls Annual Reports". Plan International. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- "Give girls a chance", The Express on Sunday, 8 March 2009
- http://goodnewsshared.com/wedding-day-best-day-of-your-life/ In Sickness and in Wealth Good News Shared