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    From poverty to opportunity

    From Poverty to Opportunity

    Faced with daily realities of widespread poverty, violence and discrimination, one in every three girls is denied the education she's entitled to.

    We have identified eight barriers that prevent girls from gaining quality education and skills for life.

    Because I am a Girl aims to break down these barriers so millions of girls can move from poverty to opportunity.

    The Eight Barriers

    Break these eight barriers and challenge gender discrimination so girls can transform their lives, and the world.

    Child Marriage

    Over fourteen million girls under 18 years old are pressured into marriage each year. While underage marriage prevents girls from finishing school, it also exposes them to early pregnancy and further health risks.

    One in 3 girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18

    Gender-based Violence

    Physical, sexual or psychological violence are very real threats to girls in developing countries. Even in school, girls can face harassment, rape and discrimination from teachers and peers, thereby reducing their chances to succeed.

    One in every four girls are sexually abused by the age of 18

    Less Value on Girls’ Education

    Often society places lower priority on educating girls compared to boys. This is because of broader attitudes about the roles of women and men in society and family that have remained prevalent in their communities.

    Less than half of girls in developing countries complete primary school

    Poor Health and Nutrition

    In many countries, higher value is placed on boys while girls are pushed into a lower social status, which often means that they are the last to eat or to even receive health care.

    Girls are three times more likely to suffer from malnutrition than boys

    Burdens of Domestic Work

    Girls are often prevented from going to school as they are expected to help with domestic work and caring for younger children. In fact, girls spend between 33 to 85 per cent more time on unpaid care work than boys.

    Around 90% of child workers are girls aged 12-17

    Poverty at Home

    Family income is usually the biggest factor when determining if girls go to school. Families with small incomes often have to decide which child to send to school, and the boys are almost always chosen.

    Poor Sexual and Reproductive Health

    When girls lack information about sexual health, they are at higher risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and diseases - and pregnancy is the biggest killer of girls aged 15-19.

    Every 60 seconds a girl dies giving birth

    Gender Discrimination in School

    Classroom activities reinforcing gender stereotypes and unsuitable facilities like shared toilets all contribute to discrimination in school, so girls are prevented from enjoying the educational rights they deserve.

    Girls are persecuted more than any other political or religious group

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    The 2013 Report

    The 2013 Because I am a Girl report is from series of annual reports that look at 'The State of the World's Girls'.

    This years report from Plan International focuses on the particular needs of adolescent girls who in the insecurity of a disaster can be especially at risk… Too often we follow a “one-size-fits-all” pattern of humanitarian response, instead of collecting the data needed to put in place programmes that address issues specific to women and girls.

    Understanding the differing needs of women, girls, boys and men needs to be the responsibility of all humanitarian workers.

    Download the 2013 report (PDF, 11.6MB)
    Download the executive summary (PDF, 384kB)

    Make a donation

    Your generous donation will fund Plan projects that help girls achieve their full potential.

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    Raise your hand

    By raising your hand, you will be calling upon the United Nations to take a stand and prioritise girls' education.

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    Join the Conversation

    Connect with Plan and other supporters and help promote the importance of educating girls.

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    How is Plan different?

    How is Plan different?

    Children are at the heart of everything we do.

    We work to empower children and communities to overcome poverty. We are dedicated to child rights and actively involve children, their families and communities in all of our work. We have no religious or political agenda and work at the grass roots to transform the world for children.

    Visit the Plan in Australia site