International Day of the Girl 2016: We’re fighting against sexism and celebrating girls worldwide
International Day of the Girl - It’s a day when all around the world, girls and young women get the opportunity to shine a light on issues that really make a difference in their lives.
Globally, girls are the most invisible, marginalised, silent and abused group in society. That’s why Plan International fought hard to make sure a day dedicated just for girls was introduced by the United Nations in 2011.
Here are some of the facts about the state of the world for girls in 2016:
- 15 million girls under the age of 18 are married each year.
- Pregnancy is one of the biggest killers of girls aged 15-19.
- It is estimated that around 3 million women and girls worldwide are currently enslaved in the sex trade.
- Women aged 15-45 are more likely to be maimed or die from gender based violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.
- In many places girls and young women cannot vote, cannot inherit land and don’t have access to justice. Fighting for the rights of girls is central to overcoming poverty and discrimination for all.
But positive things are happening for girls worldwide. Plan International Australia works to protect the rights of girls and to help them to be the masters of their own futures.
Girls are incredible. They are resilient, creative, proud and clever. It’s up to all of us to make sure girls voices are heard.
We’re working to unleash the power of every girl. It’s about offering girls nourishment, education and protection. It’s about creating schools that are safe, and ensuring that girls are not forced into early and unsafe marriages.
It’s about engaging boys and men to help achieve gender equality, and opening up economic opportunities to women so they can lead themselves and their families out of poverty. It’s about creating a world where every girl has the chance to harness her unique power to shape her own future.
Girls have a unique ability to change the world and the lives of those around them. So when we invest in girls and their potential, we’re investing in a fair, safe world for all.
Facebook is supporting girls’ rights in 2016
To recognise the amazing contributions and unlimited potential of girls, Facebook Australia has partnered with us to raise awareness of the plight of girls worldwide.
We have developed a special Facebook frame that can be applied over your profile picture for as long as you like to show your friends and family that you support girls.
We invite all Australians to change their profile picture. Go to the ‘Because I am a Girl’ Facebook page
to change yours too.
Report: everyday sexism still persists for girls in Australia
In partnership with Our Watch, Plan has launched the report Everyday sexism: girls’ and young women’s views on gender inequality in Australia.
With Ipsos, we asked 600 girls aged 15 to 19 to tell us how they feel about gender inequality.
Nine out of 10 say they are not treated equally to boys. Half feel they are not valued for their brains and opinions over their looks.
And five out of six girls believe that they are not given the same chances in life to get ahead as boys.
When we talk about gender inequality, it’s natural to think of these issues affecting women, but in fact, gender inequality begins early in girlhood.
Unfortunately, every day, in a million small ways, girls are still not as valued as boys.
That’s why, on International Day of the Girl, it’s time for all of us to ask some difficult questions.
For example: Why, in 2016, do girls and young women still fear for their safety after dark, cop harassment and abuse on public transport and are targeted on the streets?
Why did more than half of the girls and young women we surveyed (56%) say their brothers or boyfriends only sometimes or seldom did their equal share of housework?
This report makes it clear that sexism in Australia is alive and well.
These girls are telling us is that inequality starts early and is everywhere – in our homes, in school, and on the streets.
It’s deeply concerning that girls, in 2016, are saying they feel more valued for their looks than their intellect and opinions.
It’s up to all of us – parents, teachers, men, boys, women and governments – to ensure girls and young women are respected, valued, encouraged and supported, and always treated as equals to boys and young men.
Everyday sexism report: key findings
- Only one in 10 girls aged 15-19 feel they are always treated equally to boys.
- One in three girls say: "it'd be easier to get dream job if I was a man"
- Two-thirds (69%) think gender inequality is a problem in Australia
- Half of all girls say they are seldom or never valued for their brains over their looks.
- Only one in six girls say they are always valued for their brains and ability.
- Only one in six girls (14%) feel they are given the same opportunities to get ahead in life as boys.
- One in three say they always do more housework than their brothers.
- 41% of girls say lack of support will make them re-evaluate whether to start a family.
Girls took charge all over the world for Plan Global’s #GirlsTakeover
Plan International is celebrating International Day of the Girl with more than 250 takeover events in 50 countries
around the world including right here in Australia.
The takeovers aim to provide a platform for girls’ voices to be heard to a bigger audience.
In Australia, a young women took over our social media platforms throughout the day and meet with our CEO.
Another of our youth activists worked with Our Watch’s social media team and CEO.
You can see the other #GirlsTakeover events on the Because I Am A Girl social wall