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Because I am a Girl: FAQs

Girls at Plan-supported school

Because I am a Girl

Frequently Asked Questions

Because I am a Girl

Why does Plan International UK’s flagship campaign focus on girls?

Plan International UK's history has shown us that worldwide, no-one bears the brunt of poverty more than girls. Yet, in the right environment, girls can break the cycle of poverty. With education, protection and support, girls can transform their lives and their communities, becoming a powerful force for change. So investing in girls is one of the best interventions we can make to end poverty for all.

Why is it vital to support adolescent girls?

Reaching adolescence can bring new risks and increased threats for girls, including the denial of rights and choices. This means that they are often invisible in global and national processes. Protecting the rights of adolescent girls, keeping them safe from harm, giving them access to a quality education and delaying marriage or childbirth means they can break the cycle of poverty and look forward to a brighter future.

What is violence against girls in schools?

For millions of girls around the world, the right to a good quality education and to a life free from violence is being denied. Be it physical or sexual, verbal or psychological, girls across the globe are suffering from violence at school. Violence in education means fear of going to the toilet, of sexual abuse from teachers and fellow students, of verbal discrimination and of the journey to and from school.

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

FGM is a practice which involves the full or partial removal of a girl's external genitalia. Read more about our work to end FGM >

What is Child Marriage?

Child marriage, including early and forced marriage, is a violation of human rights that puts girls at risk of isolation and violence. It also poses health risks and often results in girls being taken out of school. Child marriage robs millions of girls around the world of a childhood and the right to make their own choices. It is caused by a combination of poverty, gender inequality and a lack of protection for children's rights. Read more about our work to end child marriage >

What does Plan International UK mean by ‘quality education’?

In many countries the quality of education remains poor and as a result many children leave school lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills. A ‘quality education’ is one that takes place in a safe environment, that is girl-friendly and tailored to the relevant needs and rights of girls and boys. Teaching and schools need to be free from gender bias and should promote gender equality. Read more about our work on education >

What does Plan International UK mean by ‘participation’?

'Participation' means ensuring that girls' voices are heard and acknowledged in social, economic and political spheres. At the moment, girls in many societies have 'no voice that counts' in decision-making processes. We must empower them to speak, participate and challenge and to break the cycle of poverty through addressing the barriers that hold them back. This doesn't simply mean focusing on individual girls but on changing society as a whole.

What about boys and men?

Women, men, girls and boys are all part of the plan for girls. We can only challenge discrimination, including gender inequality, if boys and men are part of our work to ensure improved education, choices and opportunities for all. Our programmes do not only work with or target girls, because we recognise that to positively change the relations between girls and boys we need to work with both groups. We are not trying to make girls better off than boys. We will always seek to ensure that all children enjoy all their rights.