Sakina Saidi

Giving Back with Plan International UK

and Girls get Equal Campaign

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Audrey Hepburn

The sales from this shop are supporting Plan International UK, which works to advance child rights and equality for girls across the world.

I believe in giving back to contribute to the common good and to help those in need. Violence and discrimination are, unfortunately, far from being eradicated from any society around the world and women and girls are more likely to be impacted by such issues.

Women’s and girls' rights continue to be violated and disrespected disproportionately due to social norms, legal discrimination, and economic inequality around the world, in spite of positive legislation and international conventions protecting their rights.

The gender pay gap as a form of sex based discrimination, and female genital mutilation as a form of gender based violence are two examples of discrimination against women which affects deeply, although evidently in different ways, the lives of women and girls. Domestic violence, in its different manifestations, is another widespread issue with terrible consequences. In many countries, intimate partner/family-related homicide is the major cause of female homicides. Certain cultural norms and beliefs are the causal factors of harmful practices resulting in violence against women, such as crimes committed in the name of “honor”.

Today, women and girls claim their rights to their lives, their bodies and their story.

For little girls to dream big, and become whatever they want to be, they need access to education, access to sanitary products and good hygiene conditions, a safe environment, and love and nurturing. Educating girls is essential to their personal development and to the future wellbeing of their societies.

It's also important to educate men and boys to recognise the part they must play in gender equality and join with the voices and actions of the women and girls who are trying to reshape society in the interests of us all. It's not about men versus women, it's not about building walls, it's about building bridges. It's about being united to build a society that includes and gives a voice and equal chances to everyone.

Plan International's "Because I am a Girl" global campaign to transform girls’ lives through education, ran from 2012 to 2018. Together with girls and their supporters they raised hundreds of millions of euros, changed laws in numerous countries and, most importantly, supported millions of girls to get an education.

Plan International’s new global campaign is "Girls Get Equal". This youth-led social change campaign is about ensuring every girl and young woman has power over her life and the world around her. Instead of focussing on a single issue, such as girls’ education, the aim is to change the way girls are valued in society so they no longer have to face injustice and oppression.

You can help girls and young women by speaking out about discrimination, learning the facts, making space for girls to lead and by joining the movement and spreading the word!