As a global girls’ rights organization, Plan International USA (Plan USA) celebrates, supports and uplifts young women and girls through our work in more than 80 countries every day. And on the heels of International Women’s Day, the spotlight on girls is brighter than ever. Fueled by our mission to end gender inequality around the world, we are tackling some of the most challenging and entrenched issues facing girls and young people – gender-based violence, child marriage and educational and financial exclusion.
We know that we will succeed in fundamentally changing the lives of girls and young women only by doing so in partnership – with girls themselves; with boys, men, caregivers and community leaders; and with our corporate partners. Here are some of the ways we have been making meaningful progress with our corporate partners in service of girls around the globe on this International Women’s Day.
Connecting Consumers to the Beauty of Equality
Increasingly, consumers want to support companies that reflect their own values. We are joining forces with our corporate partners to educate and engage consumers in ways that are authentic to their brand purpose, and to our gender equality cause. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Tata Harper, the 100% nontoxic, premium skincare, female-founded company, donated 15% of all digital net sales to our programs that we deliver with girls and children worldwide. We work with brands like Tata Harper, The Body Shop and Desert Essence on cause-marketing campaigns that bring the beauty of equality to life in a tangible way for consumers.
Passing the Megaphone
In fall 2019, Plan International released research conducted with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which found that most adolescent girls are receiving messages through media and advertising that they are less valued than boys. Shortly after, Procter & Gamble (P&G), one of the leading advertisers and brands advocating for gender equality in the world, came to us and asked a simple but powerful question: How can we best use our corporate assets, not just our funding philanthropy, to help Plan advance equal opportunity and representation for girls? We asked for the P&G megaphone, and our partner delivered by donating advertising space in some of the most iconic media outlets. Just refer to the historic March 2020 issue of TIME magazine, featuring 100 Women of the Year, where you’ll find our first full-page, donated advertisement. Turning the table on partnerships, P&G is trailblazing a creative and strategic way to give organizations like Plan USA and our program participants an amplified voice.
Investing in Girls. Period.
As an organization, we are working to achieve our strategy of transforming the lives of 10 million girls. Thanks to partners like the Kimberly-Clark Foundation, we are one step closer. Together, we are working to increase access to menstrual hygiene management education and basic sanitation in Brazil and Colombia, addressing core issues that challenge the daily lives of girls in school. Throughout International Women’s Month, Kotex®, Kimberly-Clark’s feminine care brand, is bringing this important work to communities and retail locations across Latin America. Together with Plan USA, Kotex® is inspiring a critical movement to break the stigmas related to menstruation, and subsequently investing in girls fully participating in school.
Looking ahead, Plan USA is working to ensure that 10 million girls are safe, educated and economically empowered by 2022. We won’t get there without dedicated, creative and bold partners championing girls and young women every step of the way.