Girls Offer Key to Achieving Millennium Goals
Plan Ireland, the overseas children’s charity, today (22nd September 2010) launched its fourth annual ‘Because I am a Girl’ Report', which is aligned with the Millennium Development Goals deadline date of 2015.
According to David Dalton, CEO of Plan Ireland: “Girls are central to breaking the cycle of poverty in developing countries. All eight Millennium Development Goals have an impact on children and in particular lack of investment in girls puts several of the MDGs at risk. Gender inequality continues, 500,000 women still die unnecessarily in childbirth each year, girls’ school enrolment is low and dropout rate is high.”
The 2010 ‘Because I am a Girl’ report entitled “Digital and Urban Frontiers” highlights that, for the first time in history, more people are living in cities than in a rural environment, and examines the particular issues that exist for young women growing up in cities in the developing world. There is a paradox in the fact that where girls and young women see the most potential, is precisely where they are the most at risk.
Speaking at the launch of the report, David Dalton added: “Cities and cyberspace offer girls both opportunity and danger. The promise of a better life in a big city is often nothing more than that and in reality the girls suffer at the hands of those looking to exploit them. Street girls regularly face physical and sexual abuse, and are forced to rely on older men who are as likely to abuse them as protect them.”
The report also focuses how technology can be used to give girls a voice, putting them in touch with a new world of information and ideas that they can share with other young women around the globe. Yet the report reveals how cyberspace is an arena where sexual predators can operate with impunity and that adolescent girls are prime targets for new methods of abuse such as trafficking, via the internet and mobile phones. In China, for example, 44% of children said they had been approached online by strangers. Globally there are now more mobile phones than clean toilets in the world.
Plan is delighted that a number of high profile women in the media, across different generations, are supporting this campaign including Bibi Baskin, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh and MTV presenter Laura Whitmore. Nobel prize winner John Hume is the patron of the charity.
Plan Ireland is asking people, particularly women and girls, around Ireland to support their campaign by sponsoring a girl urgently in need of help or by raising funds for projects supporting girls living in the world’s poorest countries.
For further information or to arrange an interview with a Plan Ireland spokesperson:
Jessica Majekodunmi, Plan Ireland, T: 01 6599 601 / M: 086 3100 410,