LONDON - Hollywood actress Freida Pinto will join a UK government summit next week to tackle violence against girls around the world.
The Slumdog Millionaire star will attend the Girl Summit in her role as global ambassador for charity Plan International’s Because I am a Girl campaign.
Organizers hope the London event will mobilize efforts to end child marriage and female genital mutilation in a generation.
“I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact child marriage can have on young girls,” says Freida. “This summit is an opportunity to shine a light on violence against girls globally and to rally support for the fight to end it.”
“Globally, we will not see an end to these practices unless we all work together.”
As Plan’s ambassador, Freida has visited projects in Sierra Lone, Ethiopia, and India to tackle violence against girls. Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign has reached 58 million girls worldwide to date, including work to eradicate FGM and child marriage.
“We can end FGM and child marriage in a generation,” says Plan UK CEO Tanya Barron. “If a girl knows her rights, and her community knows the risks, cases will come down over time.”
More than 125 million girls and women have undergone FGM around the world, while a girl is married every two seconds. Child brides and FGM survivors are among the most vulnerable girls in the world – suffering adverse health and limited opportunities.
Next Tuesday’s summit will aim to secure new commitments from the private sector, faith leaders, civil society and governments. The event will also share success stories – including FGM and child marriage survivors who now successfully campaign in their own communities.
“Practices like FGM and child, early, and forced marriages rob girls of the right to choose their own future,” says Department for International Development Secretary of State Justine Greening. “Freida is committed to improving the lives of girls and women across the world and I am delighted she is joining us at the Girl Summit.”
About Plan International USA
Plan International USA is part of the Plan International Federation, a global organization that works side by side with communities in 50 developing countries to end the cycle of poverty for children and their families. Plan works at the community level to develop customized solutions and ensure long-term sustainability. Our solutions are designed up-front to be owned by communities for generations to come and range from clean water and health care programs to education projects and child protection initiatives. For more information, please visit www.PlanUSA.org.