Plan International and Marie Claire launch girls’ rights campaign ‘Because I am a Girl’

Cherie Booth says women must convince men of equality at launch of girls' rights campaign 'Because I am a Girl'

CHERIE BOOTH LAST night declared women must convince men that they are equal partners if inequality around the world is to ever be changed.

Speaking at the launch of Plan International and Marie Claire’s global girls’ rights campaign, ‘Because I am a Girl’ – fighting poverty and discrimination faced by girls around the world – Mrs Blair also urged women not to be complacent in their efforts to gain global equality. ‘It was not long ago that things in this report were happening in our own country,’ she said.

The launch follows the most comprehensive report ever published, produced by charities such as Womankind and Amnesty International and some UK universities.

Published by Plan UK, the study revealed global statistics emphasizing the extent of female foeticide, early marriage, abuse and violence and the lack of education given to girls in the world’s poorer countries.

The figures showed a grim picture of the situations girls and young women face. Girls aged 15-19 account for 50% of victims of sexual assault worldwide, whilst unsafe abortions and birth complications are the leading cause of death for young women between 15 and 19.

June Sarpong joined the panel at the Because I am a Girl launch and expressed her continuing desire for equality for women in the West. ‘We must value ourselves and instill confidence in the next generation of women,’ she stated, saying teenage pregnancy in the UK was so often down to a lack of confidence in young women.

Marie Claire’s Editor-in-Chief, Marie O’Riordan, echoed Ms Sarpong’s words saying: ‘The most shocking stories for me are those relating to girls on our doorstep. This is a mainstream issue that requires national press headlines.’

The C.E.O of Plan UK, Marie Staunton, is heading up a petition for the worldwide campaign to fight discrimination against women. The campaign aims to lobby world leaders and, ultimately, the United Nations to implement two new international human rights laws, protecting girls and women around the world.

To read more about the aim of the campaign, see the full feature in the December issue of Marie Claire.

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