#GirlsMatters – Campaigns Giving A Voice To Girlhood Issues

Digital platforms today have given birth to a new era of activists, and opinion leaders, influencers and change makers, taking a stand and changing prevailing thoughts on key global issues. These platforms and people have also leveraged their voices to drive public engagement on causes they have believed in.

Here’s a list of campaigns that have largely contributed to stigmas and taboos, age-old mindsets and traditions, giving a voice to many unspoken issues of girls in India and across the world.

#BECAUSEIAMAGIRL

Launched by the Director of Plan International, when she was in Nepal discussing the challenges faced by a rural community, this campaign focuses on the needs and rights of girls in over 70 countries.

The Because I am a Girl campaign launched on the first ever International Day of the Girl in 2012 with the aim to directly impacted the lives of 3 million girls in just 2 years and went on to influence the international Development Agenda for girls. The campaign also influenced to end girl child marriage and ran till the year 2018. Because I Am a Girl went on to become an international movement to address the issue of gender discrimination around the world, harnessing the goal to promote the rights of girls and bring millions of girls out of poverty around the world.

#FREEPERIODS

Free Periods is a not for profit organisation fighting to ensure that no young person has to miss out on their education because they have their period. Founded by famous model, Adwoa Aboah, this campaign calls for equal access to education so no child will miss school because of their period. Her platform Gurls Talk has been created as a space for girls to talk openly and freely. As a woman of colour, Adwoa has broken barriers in the fashion industry and wanted other girls, especially those in the minority to have their voices heard.

Since their inception in April 2017, they have fought determinedly for change, ultimately launching a joint legal campaign with the Red Box Project in early 2019, urging the Government to comply with its legal obligations to ensure equal access to education for all children, irrespective of their sex. As part of this period revolution that has already seen waves of change in the form of committed funding for free period products in schools in England, mirroring similar commitments already made in by the governments in Scotland and Wales, this campaign is also determined to support local activists in other jurisdictions to secure similar policy commitments from their governments.

#MYLIFEAT15

#MyLifeAt15 is the global campaign by Girls Not Brides, calling the government to implement the new global target to end child marriage by 2030. The campaign celebrates the dreams and ambitions we held at the age of 15 in support of every girl, everywhere, having the opportunity to achieve hers, without child marriage holding her back.

#MyLifeAt15 is a call to invest in tomorrow’s generation by ending child marriage now. This year, global leaders are meeting in New York to adopt the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the world-wide action plan through 2030 to solve some of the biggest problems. Of the 17 SDG’S and 169 targets within the Global Goals, implementation of this campaign is the mission. It aims to end all harmful traditional practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

BETI ZINDABAD

In absolute numbers, 7000 girls go missing every day in India. Urban or rural, rich or poor, preference for a son over a daughter is frighteningly pervasive in our society. It is important to recognize that the dismal child sex ratio (number of girls to every 1000 boys between the age brackets of 0-6 years) is yet another brutal manifestation of the larger system of patriarchy combined with the unbridled culture of greed. Launched by Action Aid in 2012, Beti Zindabad is a nationwide campaign to tackle the adverse sex ratio in India. It means a commitment to live and rights, including an economic and social plan. ‘Beti Zindabad!’ was born with the commitment of awareness and ensuring follow up on complaints of selective abortions, banned by law but now also favoured by new technologies, and abuse in hospitals. The campaign has grown since its inception and addresses a wide variety of issues of violence against girls, the need to recognize and a celebrate girls’ place in the world of work, and efforts to ensure women’s access to the property, including housing and agricultural land.

GIRL UP

“Girl Up is a campaign ‘for girls, by girls.’ The UN Foundation believes in the power girls have to make global change,” said Elizabeth McKee Gore, Executive Director, Global Partnerships, UN Foundation. In some places, girls continue to lack access to opportunities and exposure. Girl Up, was started by United Nations Foundation making girls believe that they have voice, power and potential.

The Girl Up campaign gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Up’s support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Girl Up’s leadership development programs have impacted 75,000 girls through 4,000 clubs in nearly 125 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

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