By Jayjay Epega with Dylan Kiedis
A powerful podium of women led by Bianca Jagger gathered in central London on 11 October 2015 to mark International Day of the Girl, at a special event hosted by global children’s charity Plan UK.
Plan are the experts on girls’ rights and Because I am a Girl is their flagship campaign. They have already helped 58 million girls and by 2016, they aim to support hundreds of millions more so that they will be free from violence and can get the education, skills and support they need to become powerful forces for change in their communities
Ms Jagger was joined by stars from the world of entertainment including singer Sinitta, author Kathy Lette and journalist Anita Anand as they called for an end to violence against women and girls worldwide.
The charity held a gala screening of Leslee Udwin’s ground-breaking film ‘India’s Daughter’, a shocking account of the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012.
After the film, Ms Jagger led a poignant candle-lighting ceremony in memory of the medical student, who was brutally attacked by a gang on a bus in an incident which shocked the world.
“The attack on Jyoti was an affront to all of humanity,” Ms Jagger said. “And in her memory, it is incumbent on all of humanity to respond.
“We must fight to create a world in which no girl and no woman is abused simply because of her gender. A world in which a young woman can make a simple trip to the cinema with a friend without risking her life,” she added.
International Day of the Girl, which was inaugurated by the United Nations in 2012 after a campaign by Plan, is held each year in recognition of the challenges still faced by girls worldwide, including violence and abuse.
In a multi-country study released by Plan this year, nearly half of girls flagged safety on the way to and from school as a concern. A further 50 per cent considered school toilets to be unsafe places.
More than 4,200 girls aged 15 to 19 took part in the study in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
In response to the findings Plan is launching the latest phase in its Because I am a Girl campaign, calling for every girl to have the right to learn without fear.
As part of the event, the charity also launched a hard-hitting new short film, entitled The Lesson, to highlight the problem. Plan is now calling on the UK public to help raise awareness of school-related violence and support its work to tackle the root causes of violence worldwide.
Plan UK CEO Tanya Barron said: ““We have seen a number of very high profile attacks on girls and young women around the world in recent years.
“The attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai, the abduction of the Chibok girls in Nigeria and the attack on Jyoti Singh, the list goes on.
“Every girl has the right to a good quality education and to a life free from violence.”
On a final note, Leslee Udwin urged all women to go on strike on the 8th of March 2016 – to bring attention to the plight of 50% of the world’s population.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT :
India’s Daughter : https://twitter.com/IndiasDaughter
Plan : http://www.plan.org.uk