Working under the premise that gender equality and female empowerment are core to development objectives, fundamental for the realization of human rights, and key to effective and sustainable development outcomes, Plan International USA strives to design programs with a gender lens that is based on the knowledge that adolescent girls and women play critical roles as effective peace advocates, community leaders, and champions of civil and human rights.
Our commitment to the full participation of males and females in their societies involves integrating gender equality and female empowerment into all of our programs, advocacy campaigns, and institutional policies and practices. Our gender lens makes our programming more effective.
Promoting opportunities for girls through the Because I Am a Girl campaign — We are implementing the Because I am a Girl campaign, a global initiative aimed at ensuring that marginalized girls have the opportunity to realize their full potential. This campaign advocates with households; local, religious, and government leaders; and global policymakers to increase social and economic justice for girls and women.
Issues of power dynamics and masculinity — Tackling the root causes of gender inequality requires the involvement of boys and men as allies in transforming discriminatory power structures and gender norms. Boys themselves suffer from gender stereotypes and expectations that can perpetuate violence and discrimination against girls. Our approach to address these challenges recognizes men as key actors and beneficiaries in solving the myriad challenges that plague society, touching upon sexual and reproductive health, as well as HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. We work at the local and national levels to facilitate understanding to impact change at scale.
Age, sex, and social status impact program interventions — The earlier the root causes of gender inequality are addressed, the more likely that new gender roles and norms will emerge, bringing about transformative change in families and communities. This transformation is important because research shows that during early adolescence, when girls experience dramatic physical, emotional, social, and cognitive changes, gender norms have often made them less able than their male counterparts to claim their human rights.