You are here:

Girls in Crisis A Call to Action

A girl leans on a ledge

A Call to Action by Girls in Crisis

Millions of girls are growing up in crisis. It’s time to listen to their voices.

Right now, millions of girls around the world are living through conflict, disaster and displacement. Disaster affects everyone, but inequality is exacerbated during a crisis. As a result, girls are among the worst affected, facing double discrimination by being both young and female.

Girls’ education is more likely to be devalued during a crisis, placing them at greater risk of early marriage and pregnancy. Meanwhile, extra household duties and heightened insecurity mean they face an uphill struggle to access the services they deserve. Girls also face an increased risk of violence and exploitation – and their voices are often the least heard.

The rights and needs of girls in crisis have been neglected for far too long. Girls know what needs to change and are the experts in their own lives. That’s why we’re calling on governments around the world to stand alongside these girls and endorse their Call to Action – an eight-point plan for change developed by the girls and young women who are some of the most affected.

A call to action

Over 150 young people, in partnership with Plan International UK, have created Our Vision: A Call to Action by Girls in Crisis. It outlines their eight demands for a better future:

  1. Gender equality
  2. Better support and services for unaccompanied minors
  3. Access to a safe and quality education
  4. To be safe from gender-based violence
  5. Good health and wellbeing
  6. Control of our bodies
  7. Fair and decent work
  8. To be involved in creating peaceful and sustainable futures
A girls stands in front of a wall
Mukawera, 23, is a Congolese refugee in Rwanda

‘It wasn’t easy to grow up here’

“I was born in Congo but I grew up in Rwanda. It is a difficult situation where I live – there is no job, no occupation, no financial support.

“It wasn’t easy to grow up here. The issue specifically for girls is that they are facing gender-based violence and early pregnancy. They also lack money and the means to support themselves. Especially when it comes to girls, you have items you need like sanitary pads – the ones you are given aren’t sufficient.

“We can’t return to Congo, there is still insecurity. I would like the next generation to grow up in a safe world.”

A girl stands in front of a blackboard
Dianah, 21, is a refugee in Uganda

‘Girls are not safe’

“I have stayed in the camp for eight years. I live with my aunt. Now I am not at school because I am caring for family. I stayed back and my siblings continued.

“Life is hard. I feel bad because I am almost 22 and I can’t do anything for myself. There’s nowhere you can do work and get something for yourself.

“I wish the governments would let the authorities know we want equal rights. Most girls are not going to school. There is need for training for girls, so girls can get skills and can at least support themselves.”

A girl stands in front of a blackboard
Jackline, 19, is a South Sudanese refugee in Uganda

‘I was supposed to go to school’

“Life was good before the war. I was in school. I liked studying maths.

“When I came to the camp I was staying with my grandma. I was supposed to go to school. Now I am married. I have a child, a boy called Geevan. 

“I want to go to school. At the time, marriage was the only way, but now I’ve realised that going back to school is the best way. Because when you study, you can help yourself. I would say to leaders I’m wishing for a secondary school to be opened in most of the camps.”

Stand with brave girls everywhere

Join the fight for equal rights