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Tough reality of daily life for girls brought to life at UN

Fabiola from Cameroon speaking at a 2011 CSW event hosted by Plan.
Fabiola from Cameroon speaking at a 2011 CSW event hosted by Plan.
February 27, 2012

The harsh reality of life for young women in poor rural communities will be vividly brought to life at a United Nations meeting in New York this week.

A delegation of nine teenage girls (aged 15 to 18) from Sierra Leone, Malawi, Cambodia, Pakistan and Cameroon will tell the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), of the daily challenges they and their fellow young women face.

The girls are representing Plan and will be supported by journalist and campaigner Mariane Pearl who will be moderating Plan’s panel discussion, “Breaking Vows: Ending early and forced marriage” on Tuesday, February 28th.

The girl delegates will be voicing their personal accounts as girls growing up in impoverished, rural communities with direct experience of issues such as early and forced marriage, transactional sex, polygamy and domestic violence. They will be advocating for:

  • An end to early and forced marriage
  • Adolescent girls’ education
  • The role for men and boys in advancing gender equality

From February 27th to March 9th representatives from Member States will gather to evaluate progress, identify challenges, and set global policy relating to CSW’s priority theme for 2012: “The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.”

The 3 key areas being advocated for also represent key policy goals of our ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign. Officially launching on October 11, 2012, ‘Because I am a Girl’ is a ground-breaking 3 year campaign to bring positive and lasting change to the lives of half a billion girls around the world.

Teresa, aged 17 from Sierra Leone, is one of the young delegates who will be representing her peers, her community and her country.

“I want to be part of the decision of who I marry and when, I will decide how many children I will have…. If I have daughters, they will go to school and have an equal place within the family. As adults they will take care of their children so that they too will enjoy their rights,” she said.

Read more about Plan’s girl delegates’ activities at the 56th CSW Summit.

Learn more about the Commission on the Status of Women.

Get live updates from the CSW on our Plan International USA blog.

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