Because I am a Girl

What we do

Why Focus on Girls

 why help girls

BECAUSE I AM A GIRL (BIAAG) is Plan International's global campaign to fight for and promote girls' rights. It aims to protect girls in developing countries from threats of discrimination, inequality and violence, and allow girls to reach their potential which in turn helps them break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Based on our ongoing research, many girls in the developing world face double discrimination because of their gender and age, leaving them to languish at the bottom of the social ladder. They are often denied access to health services and education, and succumb to violence, abuse, and harassment. Hence Plan works to strengthen the voices of girls and engage global change agents to advocate girls’ rights in order to raise girls’ self-esteem and empower them to bring a positive impact to their families and communities.

 

It’s a good question: why focus on girls? Aren’t boys important too?

 why help girls

All children are important, have the same rights and deserve the same opportunities; however, research and field experience shows that girls are often the most vulnerable who suffer more in impoverished regions. For example: 

  • There are 70% girls or women among the one billion people who live on less than HK$8 a day.
  • Due to discrimination or abuse, girls in the developing world do not get the same opportunities as boys, bringing greater sufferings to girls. For example, girls are 3 times more likely to suffer from malnutrition than boys.
  • Over 60 million girls do not attend primary school.
  • Each year, roughly two million girls aged 5 to 15 are trafficked, sold or coerced into sex trade.
  • Globally, girls represent two thirds of new HIV infections among youth.
  • Pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide.

 

Helping disadvantaged girls is an investment that benefits children and the world as a whole. Due to the unique feminine roles of women, girls can become mothers, employees and even leaders to help construct a healthy family which positively impact the society. For example:  

why help girls

  • Girls who get the right opportunities are more likely to pass on the benefits to their family and community, for example: an extra year of education for girls can reduce infant mortality by 5-10%.
  • Supporting girls education ameliorates poverty, for instance, a girl’s income will increase for 15-25% for every one more year she receives secondary education.
  • When a girl receives education, she is given more chance to think and plan for her future. For example, the number of marriage before age 18 falls by two thirds among girls who have received secondary education than those who do not.
  • Investment in girls can improve a country’s economy. Statistics show that an increase in the number of girls graduated from secondary education boosts a country’s wealth because many will enter the work force as wage earners who then have money to spend. For instance, there will be an average of 0.3 increase in a country’s GDP for every 1% increase in girls' enrolment in school.

 

Undoubtedly, girls will flourish with their children, communities and countries in future if we protect their rights and provide them with education and healthcare.