Because I am a Girl: Growing up in the Dominican Republic
Meet 3-year-old Maria José who lives with her grandparents in the Dominican Republic. She's one of 142 girls from some of the poorest communities in the world who are taking part in a Plan cohort study which follows their experiences until their ninth birthdays in 2015 when the Millennium Development Goals should be reached.
This year the study focuses on girls and young women in the economy. Although she is young, Maria José is already starting to learn about domestic work.
Her mother, Alejandra, lives far away in the city and is working to raise funds that will allow Maria José to join her, pay for her school fees and break the cycle of poverty. "Maybe she'd make a good lawyer, teacher or doctor," says Alejandra.
Read the 'Because I am a Girl: Girls in the global economy 2009' report.
Join Plan's Because I am a Girl campaign.