About the Campaign

Girls' Rights are Human Rights

On a cold day in 2004, in a small village of rural Nepal, Plan’s Germany Director Marianne Raven was sitting under a tree discussing the community’s challenges with its inhabitants. As the huddled group made requests for more blankets to cover themselves from the cold, Marianne saw a small girl ambling past, with barely enough clothes to keep her warm. The girl's mother was asked, “Why doesn’t this girl have adequate clothing against the cold?” The mother’s answer would have a profound impact on Marianne, and indeed all of Plan. She replied, “Because she is a girl".

This campaign is dedicated to Sharmila. With your support, Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to unleash the incredible potential of girls to create a better world. The benefits are not just for them, but for everyone.

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The 8 barriers we need to break

Child marriage robs girls of their childhood, their health, their hopes and dreams, and their education – right at a time when it matters most. When a girl is married young she is more likely to experience violence, physical and sexual abuse, and poor sexual and reproductive health. Child marriage is one of main reasons why 65 million girls around the world are currently missing out on school.


Physical, sexual or psychological violence are very real threats to girls in developing countries. Even in school, girls can face harassment, rape and discrimination from teachers and peers, thereby reducing their chances to succeed. One in every four girls are sexually abused by the age of 18.


Often society places lower priority on educating girls compared to boys. This is because of broader attitudes about the roles of women and men in society and family that have remained prevalent in their communities. Less than half of girls in developing countries complete primary school.


In many countries, higher value is placed on boys while girls are pushed into a lower social status, which often means that they are the last to eat or to even receive health care. Girls are three times more likely to suffer from malnutrition than boys.


Girls are often prevented from going to school as they are expected to help with domestic work and caring for younger children. In fact, girls spend between 33 to 85% more time on unpaid care work than boys. Around 90% of child workers are girls aged 12−17.


Family income is usually the biggest factor when determining if girls go to school. Families with small incomes often have to decide which child to send to school, and boys are almost always chosen over girls.


When girls lack information about sexual health, they are at higher risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Pregnancy is the biggest killer of girls aged 15−19. Every 60 seconds a teenage girl dies from pregnancy or birth complications.


Classroom activities that reinforce gender stereotypes and unsuitable facilities like shared toilets all contribute to discrimination in school, meaning girls are prevented from enjoying the educational rights they deserve. Girls are persecuted more than any other political or religious group.

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The 2015 Report

BIAAG 2014 Report Cover

The 2015 Because I am a Girl Report:

The Unfinished Business of Girls' Rights

Girls around the world have made huge progress over the past 15 years – more girls are in school than ever before and access to clean water and sanitation improves every year. But there is still a long way to go before girls enjoy the same access to rights and opportunities as boys. The 2015 State of the World’s Girls report brings together 14 prominent contributors to examine progress made in realising girls’ rights and the reasons why girls still face huge challenges.

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