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Our top 5 brave girls on International Womens Day

Our top 5 brave girls on International Women’s Day

Bravery. It’s an act of courage. It’s an act that’s not absent of fear, but one that triumphs over it. It’s an act that’s big or small. To us, bravery is standing up for your rights and the rights of others. 

And everyday girls are standing up for their rights and demanding gender equality. So, what better day to celebrate the brave acts of girls than International Women’s Day?!

Here, we take a look at five brave girls from around the world who have not only inspired us but who are creating real change for girls. Today, let’s celebrate the rise of brave girls! 

Malala – Helping children have a primary education

She’s a renowned hero and rightly so. When the Taliban shot Malala in the head for going to school, she didn’t let the bullets silence her fight for an education:

I said to myself, Malala, you must be brave. You must not be afraid of anyone. You are trying to get an education. You are not committing a crime.

Malala went on to lead a campaign that got the UN to commit to the target of ensuring children everywhere, are able to complete a full course of primary schooling. She was also the youngest person at just 17 to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Her fight for children’s rights to an education is nothing short of inspirational: 

“Let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge.” 

Memory – Ending child marriage in Malawi

Memory led the campaign to end child marriage in Malawi

Last year, our young campaigner Memory captivated our supporters as she told them stories about her sister’s marriage at the age of just 11, and asked them to stand with her to ban child marriage.

She gained the support of more than 42,000 people across the world and presented the petition to Parliament. In February, the Malawian Government voted to outlaw child marriage.  

Today, I can tell my little sister, we are one step further to ensuring no more girls in Malawi will have to endure what she endured at just 11 years old.

Changing a country’s constitution is a huge achievement! And Memory’s success has gone on to inspire other young campaigners to take action.  

Maribel – Making cities safer for girls everywhere

Maribel has campaigned to make cities safer for girls

Inspired by Memory, Maribel from Ecuador led a campaign to end violence against girls in urban spaces by making cities safer. She presented a petition to world leaders at the UN Habitat III conference and they agreed to ensure girls are represented in the decision-making of urban planning and their safety is addressed in the New Urban Agenda. 

If we can change the way girls and women are treated on the street, then we can truly begin to make cities safer for everyone including men and young boys.

Ambrin – Demanding her right to sex and relationships education

A photo of Ambrin, from the Youth Advisory Panel
Ambrin is from Plan International UK's Youth Advisory Panel

Girls aren’t just fighting for their rights overseas - girls here in the UK are also demanding change. Our young campaigners in the UK are calling for the UK Government to make sex and relationships education compulsory in schools. They want to learn about their right to protection, the importance of consent and have a safe space to talk about sexual orientation. 

Ambrin, a practising Muslim, is standing with the 70 per cent of children who are backing mandatory sex and relationships education:  

I think learning about sex and relationship education is really important as it allows you to be in control and stop people taking advantage of you.

The voices of young people across the country have been heard and the government has backed an overhaul of the curriculum, with the legislation set to come to a vote in the House of Commons soon.

Sophie – The next brave girl giving girls a choice over their future

Sophie is campaigning to give girls a choice over their futures
Sophie is a youth advocate in Uganda campaigning for access to contraceptives and sexual health services to be a universal right.

Last but not least, Sophie is our rising brave girl who’s raising the issue of teenage pregnancies in Uganda. She’s calling the government to invest in better sexual health services and information so girls can make informed decisions and have better control over their futures. 

While I was at school I saw first-hand many girls having to drop out as they became pregnant. By the time I left primary school at the age of 13, ten of my classmates were already pregnant. I realised, if a woman is not informed, she is not empowered. I knew I had to do something.

As brave as Sophie is, she can’t do it alone. Help girls become more empowered to choose when they become mothers by standing with Sophie.  

“We can help girls live free from stigma, violence and exclusion in Uganda.”

Stand with brave girls

Help girls become more empowered to choose when they become mothers

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