About us

Because I am a Girl is a global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty.

The Because I am a Girl initiative was founded by Plan International, one of the largest international charities in the world. Founded in 1937, Plan has supported girls and boys in the developing world for more than 75 years through collaboration with children, their families, and their communities.

Why focus on girls?

Girls in the poorest regions of the world are among the most disadvantaged people on the planet.

Girls are more likely to:

  • live in poverty
  • be denied access to education
  • be denied medical care
  • be malnourished

simply because they’re girls.

And yet, studies show that investing in girls – and ensuring they have enough to eat, an education and a safe environment – is the key to transforming lives, lifting families, communities, and entire nations out of poverty.

What we’ve accomplished so far

In 2009, Plan Canada launched the Because I am a Girl initiative here in Canada. Since then, the initiative has been launched globally, and after a successful campaign led by Plan Canada, the United Nations officially declared October 11th International Day of the Girl.

  • We operate a wide range of programs worldwide to improve the status of girls and give them equal access to health care, education, protection, independence, and an opportunity to participate in society.
  • Our State of the Worlds Girls report series is an ongoing investigation that helps shine a light on specific barriers to young girls’ development and their access to basic human rights.
  • With the help of Plan Canada and the support of thousands of Canadians who signed petitions and wrote letters to their Members of Parliament, the United Nations officially declared October 11th as International Day of the Girl – a day to advocate and recognize the rights of girls globally.

Where we’re going

Plan’s Because I am a Girl initiative has a global goal of supporting 4 million girls in getting the education, skills and support they need to move themselves from poverty to opportunity.

We are working with girls, communities, leaders, governments, global institutions and the private sector to help ensure that:

  • Girls’ education be prioritized by world leaders
  • Girls complete at least nine years of quality education, and support the crucial transition to secondary education.
  • Funding for girls’ education be increased
  • Child marriage is abolished
  • Gender-based violence in and around schools is put to a stop
  • Girls and boys participate equally in decision making and are able to inspire those with power to take action.

Additionally, we aim to reach 40 million girls and boys indirectly through our gender programs that will help create positive change for generations to come. Through our work, we also we aim to reach 400 million girls through policy change that will help bring about quantifiable improvements in policy makers, service providers and government support for gender equality and girls’ rights around the world.

We need your help!

In Canada, the Because I am a Girl movement is about harnessing the incredible power that girls and women have here at home, to change the future.

By investing in girls, we can support a generation of empowered women, mothers, workers and leaders who will improve the lives of everyone around them.

We invite you to:

Girl dressed in red; 'Research is clear that when girls reach their full potential, through improved status, better health care, and education, it is the most effective development tool for society as a whole'

Invest in girls and change the world