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Because I am a girl

Find out more about our campaign for equal rights

Because I am a girl

Find out more about our campaign for equal rights

Around the world, girls continue to be discriminated against and excluded because of their gender and age. From child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) to street harassment and sexual exploitation at work, millions of girls are facing violence in their everyday lives – and being held back from achieving their dreams as a result.

When you sign up to our Because I am a Girl campaign, you’ll join us in standing with brave girls everywhere as they take on the issues that matter to them. With your support, we work with young people and youth activists to understand the solutions they need to see in their communities and to lobby those in power, creating lasting impact and enabling girls to live the lives they choose.

Together, we’ve celebrated some amazing successes, from raising the age of marriage to 18 in Guatemala and Malawi to getting the UK Government to recognise street harassment as a form of gender-based violence. It’s amazing progress – but there’s still so much more we need to do to ensure every girl grows up in a world where her voice is heard and her rights are realised.



under 18 are married around the world every day



under the age of 15 give birth every day around the world

2 in 3


in humanitarian crisis won’t start secondary school


Find out more about our campaigning work and how we platform girls' voices in places of power

Why we’re campaigning for girls’ rights

‘girls are not safe here’

‘Girls are not safe here’

Eight-year-old Priya lives in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Delhi. She’s already well aware of the difference between being a girl and being a boy in India’s capital city. “My brother plays all the time. Because he is a boy, he does not have chores at home. I do not have much time to play,” she says.

Priya’s mum is already worried about the dangers her daughter will face when she gets older. “Girls are not safe here,” she says. “It will be difficult to let her go outside alone after she has reached puberty.”

‘I didn’t know anything about the man’

Around the world, girls growing up in crisis – like Amal – are facing poverty and an increased risk of child marriage and child labour. Now 11, Amal has spent the last six years living in a makeshift tent in Lebanon, after fleeing Syria with her family.

When we met her, she was working as a maid to help her mum and was next in line to be married. "Mum wanted me to be married off because she doesn't have any money,” explains Amal. “I didn't know anything about the man and said that I didn't want to, because I was too young.”

‘I didn’t know anything about the man’
‘it was such a horrible experience’

‘It was such a horrible experience’

Despite living in one of the richest countries in the world, girls in the UK are still being denied their rights. They’re facing harassment at school. They don’t feel safe online. They’re being judged by the way their body looks – and they’re scared every day on the street.

“I was in school uniform sat on a train and this guy kept trying to put his hand on my leg,” says Jess, 16, from Glasgow. “I ended up getting off the train that next stop and just being completely lost because I didn’t want to sit there anymore. It was such a horrible experience.”

Campaign successes

When you stand with girls, you enable them to change their futures. With the help of our supporters, we’ve seen young people achieve amazing things, including:

  • raising the age of marriage to 18 in Malawi and Guatemala
  • successfully petitioning for improved sexual health services for young people in Uganda
  • gaining support for a public awareness campaign on the dangers of trafficking in Nepal
  • getting street harassment recognised as a form of gender-based violence in the UK.
Campaign successes
Our global research on girls’ rights

Our global research on girls’ rights

We use research and the experience of the girls we work with around the world to shape our Because I am a Girl campaigns.

Discover more by reading our reports on the situation of girls' rights around the world or explore our policy blogs.

Your questions answered

Why does the campaign focus on girls?

Plan International'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.

What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?

FGM is a practice which involves the full or partial removal of a girl's external genitalia.

What about boys and men?

Our programmes don’t only work with or target girls. We recognise that to positively change the relations between girls and boys, we need to work with both groups.