In a world designed for men, we put girls first

Plan calls for equal opportunities for all children. But gender inequality and discrimination against girls mean they are often denied their rights. We will not stop until girls can live, love and lead without fear or discrimination. This is why Plan puts girls first.

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Around the world girls experience discrimination and are being undervalued, undermined and underestimated. By today’s standards and speed, it will take almost 300 years to fully achieve gender equality.

Girls and boys have equal rights - but not in reality.

- To achieve gender equality, we need to put girls first. It’s about time. Kari Helene Partapuoli, generalsekretær i Plan International Norge.

Where abortion is illegal

States across the U.S. are passing the most restrictive abortion laws in decades. But it’s mainly South American and African countries that have a total ban on abortion, in addition to Malta and Andorra in Europe.

Hey Google!

In 2016, Dr. Rachael Tatman did a study to see how well Google’s speech recognition understood male and female voices. Her research found that there’s an almost 70% chance transcripts would be more accurate for a male speaker than for a female one.

My family planned this wedding because I’m a financial burden.

Child marriage is often linked to poverty. Parents often feel they have no other choice but to marry off their daughter. As the daughter gets older, it gets more difficult to secure her future. 

Girls around the world are still dealing with stigma around their monthly period. In some countries, girls are considered to be “dirty”. Without access to tampons, sanitary pads or even toilets, many girls stay at home rather than going to school. For a whole week. Every month.

Plan International work for girls' right to education – also during their monthly period.  

Protecting who?

In a British survey from 2017, 95% of women working in emergency services stated that the personal protective equipment they were supposed to use was ill-fitting, hampered their work, and was not made for female proportions.

A woman is 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car wreck than a man.

This figure comes from research done in 2011 by the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia. They compared injuries from female and male drivers in the same type of car accidents.

Medication for men.

It’s harder to make a diagnosis and know how medications work on women than on men – since women are seldom included in testing. Often early research, especially when testing on animals, is done on male species, because of fewer hormone fluctuations.

Criado Perez, Caroline (2019): Invisible Women, Chatto & Windus (page 203).

...Yet we use women 90% of the time when we research anti-aging products.

Putting girls first means that Plan supports and encourages local initiatives giving girls equal access to attend school and the same education as boys. In countries where we work for children’s rights, more girls than boys quit school once they reach puberty. To keep girls in school, they need safe and separate toilets, and they need to be able to get to school without being harassed or feeling afraid walking to school. Both boys and girls need sexual education. Girls need parents who understand the importance of education – and girls need boys to respect them.

Plan's programs include both girls and boys in our work for gender equality.

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