Raise Your Hand for girls' education – A successful global initiative

In 2012, Plan International launched a petition asking girls, boys, men and women around the world to raise their hand and support our call for a firm focus on girls’ education in the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda, which will replace the current Millennium Development Goals.

In response, 2,395,266 hands were raised – demonstrating overwhelming support for girls’ rights from all corners of the globe!

Over 2.3 million hands raised for girls’ education

Plan International CEO presents a petition supporting girls’ education to a United Nations representative.

Plan International CEO, Nigel Chapman, presents the petition for girls’ education to the United Nations representative, Irina Bokova.

Globally, 62 million girls are denied an education. The Raise Your Hand initiative was a powerful way for us to collectively show support for every girl’s right to education.

Nigel Chapman, Plan International CEO, presented the petition to Irina Bokova, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Director-General, on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

“There is no more powerful force for human rights and dignity, for social inclusion and sustainable growth, and this is why educating girls must stand at the heart of the new global sustainable development agenda that will follow 2015,” said Irina Bokova.

Girls’ education: 2015 and beyond

Malala Yousafzai raises her hand.

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, raised her hand in support of girls' education too.

With support from, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient, celebrities like Jenn Heil, Olympic champion and Plan Canada’s Celebrated Ambassador, and Freida Pinto, actress and Plan’s Global Because I am a Girl Ambassador, and Canadians – like YOU – we showed the United Nations that the world is behind our efforts in prioritizing girls’ rights in 2015 and beyond.

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Raise Your Hand initiative and who believes in the role that education plays in helping girls meet their full potential!


Continue to show your support for girls’ rights

If you believe girls’ rights are human rights, then join the global movement to create a #BrighterFuture for girls everywhere!