I want all of my children to grow up to be healthy, happy and productive members of society. I want them all to know that they can be or do anything that they put their minds to. I worry about this more with my daughter, because girls are often faced with more obstacles. Girls and women face more poverty, more violence and receive less education around the world. There is still an expectation that women will get married and have children, and even our career choices can be somewhat gender based.
If my daughter wants to be a nurse or a teacher or a stay at home Mom (or a Mom at all), that is great with me. But if my daughter feels that those are her only options, then we have a problem. She needs to know that her worth isn’t found in a ring on her finger or babies in a stroller. She needs to know that she can be the CEO of an organization, a surgeon, an engineer or a garbage truck driver if that’s what makes her happy.
Despite the stereotypes, I know how lucky we are to be in Canada. There are young girls being married off to violent men in other countries. Girls are starving to death because they can’t get their basic needs met. They live with daily discrimination and face barriers to the survival and development every day. It is time to make a change and Because I am a Girl is working towards that change.
It’s proven that by investing in girls we can support a generation of empowered women, mothers, workers and leaders who will improve the lives of everyone around them and lift entire nations out of poverty.
Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Through this initiative, Plan creates sustainable projects in developing countries to improve girls’ access to clean water, food, healthcare, education, and protection from violence and exploitation.
Helping girls overcome these obstacles will have a positive impact on the entire world. Seventy percent of the world’s 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty is made up of girls and women. Imagine what a change we could make by helping girls get an education so they can learn to provide for themselves and their families. Think of how many lives could be saved by avoiding early and violent marriages simply by teaching girls that they have options. Consider how much healthier the world could be if young women had the proper healthcare during pregnancies and for their children. Knowledge is the key to all of this. We need to get these girls the education they need.
On October 11th, we will celebrate the International Day of the Girl to highlight the needs and rights of girls. The goal is to help girls reach their full potential and to bring people of all ages and genders together to take action and create change to recognize and promote girls’ rights.
Here is what you can do to help:
- Create a fundraiser
- Spread the word
Together we can make a huge difference in the lives of girls and women, but also in the whole world.