As one of the largest child rights organizations in the world, we use our network of more than 70 offices around the world to drive changes in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels, with the goal of advancing children's rights and equality for girls.
As an organization committed to a just and equal world — especially for girls and children — Plan International USA believes that democratic elections are key to ensuring leaders are held accountable, with the best interests of their people in mind. We also believe that all people — no matter our race, religion, gender, age, political background, ability, sexual orientation or any of the things that make us unique and valued human beings — are entitled to safety, security and prosperity, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and other international declarations. These beliefs are as true in the U.S. as they are around the world, including the more than 70 countries where Plan works.
We support full participation in the electoral process both for our own benefit and to have a direct impact on the lives of girls and children globally. For the past 200 years, the U.S. has had peaceful transfers of power, setting an example for democracies around the world. When encouraging our supporters to exercise their right to vote, we are advocating for meaningful change in the U.S. and elsewhere. Those who are elected to office are responsible for policies, legislation and budgets that have a direct effect on critical issues domestically and internationally, such as adequate funding for foreign assistance, girls’ equality, access to and quality of education, availability of adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and the provision of clean water and sanitary facilities, among others.
Democracy is held together, in a country as diverse as ours, by shared beliefs, including that everyone has the right to have their voice heard and that everyone’s voice is important and weighted equally. There is no place for concerted attempts to silence the voices and disqualify the choices and opinions of those with whom we don’t agree, particularly when specific groups or people are singled out by racist or discriminatory behavior. Any attack on democracy and its institutions is an attack on the fundamental rights and freedoms of its peoples. When dissent is weaponized, equality — particularly racial and gender equality — and social justice are the biggest casualties. In the U.S. and across the globe, Plan will continue to fight for human rights, equality and inclusion for all.