This TIE project will have you working with Plan, one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world, on their Because I am a Girl campaign (BIAAG).  The premise of this campaign, to be launched in September 2012, is that girls in developing countries are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, die before the age of 5 and to be forced to get married as a teenager. They experience more violence and sexual harassment and are expected to work hard on domestic chores limiting their ability to develop their intellectual potential. This lack of opportunity and care is unfair and unjust.

Yet we know that investing in girls and young women has a disproportionately beneficial effect on alleviating poverty; not only for the girls themselves but for their families, their communities and their country. When girls have the same opportunities as boys, they are more likely to reinvest their income to the benefit of their families and whole communities. Investing in girls delivers a higher return than any other investment made in a country’s development. And everyone benefits, including boys and men. Social justice, equality of opportunity and developmental impact are three reasons why Plan has made the BIAAG campaign one of its flagship priorities. It’s been proven that investing in girls is the key to reducing global poverty. And when we support the rights of girls, we create a better world for everyone.

The project will be based at the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW), which will take place in March 2012.  They have an annual priority theme, which in 2012 is the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication.  The review theme for 2012 is ‘financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women’.   The link to the BIAAG campaign and Plan’s goal for the summit is to get girls to enroll and complete quality primary and secondary education in a safe and supportive community environment and acquire the skills they need to access decent economic opportunities.  Therefore, the aim of the summit is to increase policy and funding commitments by governments, multilaterals, and international institutions so that girls are better able to access and complete schooling through lower-secondary via Plan’s contribution to the efforts.

The role of the communications professional at the CSW summit will be to work with the Plan professionals and young delegates from all over the world to help them develop a communications plan linking the priority and review theme to the BIAAG campaign themes, helping them think of the best way of communicating their messages during their time at the summit, and work with the young delegates to help spread the messages through social media.