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Educator’s Toolkit


INVEST IN A G RL AND SHE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.


This toolkit is designed to give educators like you the exclusive opportunity to engage with Plan International USA’s Because I am a Girl initiative. On the pages ahead, you’ll find resources and information to help you: zz Educate your students on the barriers girls face around the world zz Understand the strategies used to combat these issues zz Lead engaging educational acitivities to build your students’

knowledge zz Raise awareness in your community

So what are you waiting for? Start learning how you can promote girls’ rights and gender equality today!


Table of Contents The Because I Am a Girl Initiative................................................................................................................... 4 Because I Am a Girl Dictionary........................................................................................................................ 5 The Barriers Girls Face..................................................................................................................................... 6 Teaching Topics................................................................................................................................................. 7 Teaching Topic: Girls’ Education..............................................................................................................................8 Meet Hap from Vietnam......................................................................................................................................... 11 Teaching Topic: Child Labor....................................................................................................................................12 Meet Asha from Nepal............................................................................................................................................13 Teaching Topic: Economic Empowerment............................................................................................................14 Meet Laxmi from Nepal..........................................................................................................................................16 Teaching Topics: Clean Water.................................................................................................................................17 Project Spotlight: Ethiopia......................................................................................................................................18 Teaching Topic: Early Marriage..............................................................................................................................19 Meet Fatmata from Sierra Leone.......................................................................................................................... 20 Solving the Problem....................................................................................................................................... 21 Teaching Activities..........................................................................................................................................22 Activity #1: Gender vs. Sex .................................................................................................................................. 23 Activity #2: Step Forward...................................................................................................................................... 25 Role Cards:................................................................................................................................................................ 27 Activity #3: Who Am I?.......................................................................................................................................... 30 Data Collection Sheet: Nouns................................................................................................................................ 32 Data Collection Sheet: Adjectives......................................................................................................................... 33 Activity #4: The Root of the Problem.................................................................................................................. 34 The Unhealthy Tree................................................................................................................................................. 35 The Healthy Tree..................................................................................................................................................... 36 Activity #5: So, What About Boys?...................................................................................................................... 37 Activity #6: Assets for Girls................................................................................................................................... 39 Financial Assets for Activity #6:.............................................................................................................................41 Health Assets for Activity #6:............................................................................................................................... 42 Safety Assets for Activity #6:................................................................................................................................ 43 Personal Assets for Activity #6:............................................................................................................................ 44 Act Now!..........................................................................................................................................................45 References........................................................................................................................................................46


The Because I Am a Girl Initiative About Plan International USA

About Because I am a Girl

Founded in 1937, Plan is an $800 million international development organization working with local communities to break the cycle of poverty in 50 developing countries. Working side by side with children, youth, parents, and policymakers in more than 58,000 communities, Plan develops sustainable projects to provide the most basic of child rights: clean water, education, health care, food, financial security, and protection from sexual violence and exploitation.

By investing in a girl and her future, we know for a fact that she can lift herself out of poverty, altering the economic condition of her family, her community, and ultimately her country. How do we know? Decades of experience and in-depth research have proven it. Yet even today, a girl in the developing world still faces overwhelming odds from the day she’s born.

To reach the most vulnerable and marginalized girls living in extreme poverty, Plan created the Because I am a Girl initiative. The goal of the initiative is to identity and combat the barriers girls face in an effort to improve the lives of 4 million girls by 2015.

Because she is a girl, she’s more likely to eat dinner last, be forced into an early marriage, be subjected to violence, be sold into the sex trade. Because she is a girl, she faces discrimination in her own home. Because she is a girl, she’ll have limited access to a doctor or a primary education (if she’s even allowed to go to school at all). However, by working together with leaders like you, we can change all that. Throughout the world, people like you are joining forces with Plan to give girls access to the most basic human rights and stop injustice. By educating others about the barriers girls face, we can raise awareness and help give girls the voice they need to change their own lives. But it’s not just a girl thing. We actively engage men and boys to take a productive role in all of our initiatives because real change can’t happen without the support of the entire community. Join us and be part of a global movement that promises 4 million girls a brighter future!

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Because I Am a Girl Dictionary To help fuel conversation, we’ve put together a list of words most commonly used when talking about girls’ rights. 1. Arranged Marriage is when the parents or family members decide who their son or daughter will marry. 2. Assets are skills, knowledge, capacities, and material items that help individuals remain stable and secure when they experience a crisis or disaster. 3. Domestic Labor is work that takes place within a home and generally includes caring for children, cleaning, cooking, and other household responsibilities. Girls often perform this work in another person’s home in order to make money.

7. Life Skills are skills, knowledge, and attitudes developed throughout a child’s life that promote healthy behaviors like critical thinking, decision making, and financial literacy. 8. Missing at Birth is a phenomenon taking place in developing countries where girls are not valued as highly as boys. Girls may be aborted in the fetus or be abandoned at birth because they are perceived to be a burden to the family. 9. Vulnerable Employment is any type of work that puts a person in danger, pays so low that a person is not able to meet their basic needs, or fails to provide job security.

4. Dowry is generally a gift in the form money, livestock, jewelry, or land that the family of a bride presents to the potential husband (or his family) at the time the marriage is proposed. In many countries, the dowry can be interpreted in different ways and it can also be a gift given to the bride’s family by the potential husband at the time of proposal. For poor families, a low dowry can be an incentive for parents to marry their daughter early—sometimes as young as 12. This tradition is very common in Southeast Asia 5. Early Marriage is when a boy or a girl under the age of 18 is forced to marry by his or her family. 6. Head of Household is an individual who takes care of family members, makes all the decisions, and provides financial support. 5 | Educator’s Toolkit

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The Barriers Girls Face In theory, girls are entitled to the exact same human rights as boys. But in reality, girls face discrimination in developing countries all over the world, simply because of their gender and their age. They are denied an education, forced into early marriage, subjected to sexual violence, abused physically, and exploited. Girls face discrimination in many places, including their homes, their schools, and in their communities. When a girl is denied her basic human rights, she suffers—but her community and the society in which she lives also suffer. In order for her to succeed, a girl needs the support of a family, a community, and a society. There are many reasons why girls are not valued as highly as boys throughout the world, but here are some of the biggest: Gender roles: For centuries, men and women have had clearly defined roles within society and their own families in order to ensure everything gets done and the community functions properly. In many countries, it is common for males to work outside the home to support the entire family, while females stay home, take care of the children, cook the meals, and clean the house. In other countries, like the US, gender roles are shifting—men and women no longer feel obligated to perform the duties that were traditionally defined by their gender. This shift is resulting in greater gender equality and increased opportunities for women and girls. However, in developing countries, gender roles remain entrenched in society and tradition, perpetuating inequality and creating barriers for girls who seek to participate in activities outside the gendered norm.

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Values: In many societies, bearing numerous children and having a big family is a sign of prosperity and good fortune. In countries where there are no national financial security programs for the elderly, men and women have many children to ensure they not only have enough help on the farm, but a safety net for when they grow old and can no longer work. When families are poor and have multiple children, there may not be enough money for every child to eat three meals a day, attend school, or receive necessary vaccines, which inevitably perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Cultural Norms: Every society in the world has norms and traditions, including songs, foods, and ways of interacting. Many societies value their elders as the leaders and decision makers in the family and it’s common for elders to honor cultural norms and traditions. For a girl, decisions about her role in the household, educational opportunities, or choice of husband are most often determined by her elders without her consultation. Economic Incentives: Just as culture, tradition, and gender play a role in determining a girl’s path in life, so can a family’s income. When a family is poor they have to make strategic decisions about how they will spend their money so they can survive. Because girls are seen as an asset in the home, taking care of the family and doing chores, it is common for a family to invest in their son’s education and provide him with opportunities to ensure he has the ability to earn a higher income when he joins the workforce.

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Teaching Topics Ready to get started promoting girls’ rights and gender equality? Pick one of the following topic areas and read its summary.

Each topic has a supporting activity, but feel free to mix and match, or modify the topics and activities to suit your classroom’s needs.

Girl’s Education

Domestic Work

Economic Empowerment

Clean Water

Early Marriage

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Teaching Topic: Girls’ Education Imagine if there were no girls in your classroom… In the developing world, there are countless girls that do not have the opportunity to go to school. And for the few that do start primary school, most likely they will not continue their studies once they hit adolescence. In fact, in places like Tanzania, only 36% of students make the transition to secondary school.1 What are the most common barriers girls face in trying to get an education? The top 10 are listed below.

The percentage of girls enrolled in school in Ethiopia is less than 40%. This number is equivalent to the percentage of girls enrolled in school in the United States during the 1830s. (World Bank) The Top 10 Common Barriers to Education that Girls Face: 1. Lack of Money. Many parents lack the necessary fees for tuition, books and supplies, uniforms, and/or food, and therefore cannot afford to send their daughters to school regularly. 2. Distance. In rural communities, schools are often few and far between, requiring girls to take long and often unsafe walks to school every day. 3. Responsibilities at Home. In rural communities, girls often have many duties at home, which might take away from their becauseiamagirl.us

time in the classroom. Some of these chores may include caring for younger siblings, housekeeping, and fetching water. 4. Value of Girls’ Education. In some societies, little value is placed on a girls’ education. In these communities, girls struggle against social and familial pressures in order to attend school. 5. Child Marriage. In some parts of the world, girls are forced to marry at very young ages, often to save the family money. Some families receive a dowry when they marry off their daughter and this helps raise their standard of living. However, a young wife must take care of her new husband and household, which interferes with her ability to go to school. 6. Pregnancy. A lack of comprehensive health education, a lack of access to contraception, a societal taboo against discussing reproductive health, and the prevalence of child marriage can all contribute to early pregnancy among girls and adolescents. If a girl is pregnant or has a young child, she will not be able to regularly attend school or focus on her studies. 7. School Facilities. Often schools are not properly maintained or lack adequate facilities, and therefore do not offer safe and healthy learning environments for students. Classrooms can also be hot, crowded, and lacking in materials such as desks, chalkboards, and books, which impair student learning. 8. Sanitation Facilities. In addition to classrooms, students should also have access to safe and healthy bathrooms, including separate spaces for boys and girls. Children and Educator’s Toolkit | 8


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youth also need access to clean drinking water throughout the school day, which often schools cannot provide. 9. Quality of Teachers. In some instances, teachers are underpaid, inadequately trained, or not fully invested in providing quality education for their students – especially girls. So even if a girl is allowed to attend school, she sometimes does not receive personal attention or effective instruction. 10. Child Labor. Millions of children around the world are forced to work in order to help contribute to their family’s income. These jobs can include unpaid and paid work (though often for very low wages) in agriculture, domestic service, textiles, and other industries.

Ensure their own children go to school

Sometimes this work can be dangerous, and can require long hours. Children are sometimes also trafficked illegally within their own country or internationally. If children are working, they often do not have the energy to keep up with their studies. While working, children and youth often miss days of school, or withdraw from school all together.

We know that girls will flourish if they are able to go to school and learn the basic skills of literacy, mathematics, life skills, and critical thinking in a supportive setting. By working closely with parents and the community, Plan is able to implement educational initiatives that promote children’s rights and strengthen polices that ensure quality education for all.

Educated girls are more likely to: Have fewer children

Have decision making power in the household

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G RL SPOTLIGHT: Meet Hap from Vietnam

Hap is an eleven-year-old girl growing up in the remote mountain region of Vietnam. Hap’s parents value education and want her to attend school so that she can earn an income and create a better life for herself, but there is much work to be done within the household. Her parents are working hard to ensure she can attend school, but Hap spends much of her time completing household chores. This is what a normal day is like for Hap: After attending school in the morning, she returns home to help her mother prepare lunch. The family eats and then she cuts grass for the buffalo, and feeds the family’s pig, goat, and chickens. Hap then treks into the mountains to collect firewood

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to fuel the fire they build to cook dinner. Once she returns, Hap helps her mother prepare dinner and they discuss the different subjects Hap is learning in school. The family has fried fish for dinner and afterwards Hap must complete her math and reading homework before dark. “Sometimes I feel sad because Hap has a lot of chores to complete, compared to her friends,” said Hap’s father. “I worry how it will affect her studies. I want her to mature and learn how to escape poverty.” Hap’s mother follows by saying “We worry about how we can support Hap’s education. Hap is a good girl with lots of friends at school. We worry about her future and whether she’ll have a better life.” becauseiamagirl.us


Teaching Topic: Child Labor

Missing Educated school because girls areyou more are forced likely toto: work

Sitting inside a dark carpet factory all day weaving rugs

Any work that interferes with a child’s education, is harmful to a child’s health, or to her physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development falls under the definition of child labor. According to UNICEF, an estimated 246 million children worldwide are currently employed in child labor, or activities that are hazardous, excessive, or exploitative.2 The good news, however, is that child labor has been decreasing everywhere, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, where it has actually been on the rise. 3 Working children have little or no time to attend school, play sports, or spend time with friends. They often endure long hours in hazardous and unhealthy environments. They are also denied many of their fundamental rights, such as education, health care, and a safe and healthy environment. Often this work—including forced

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Working from 5 AM to 9 PM when you may be as young as 5

labor and prostitution— is hidden from the public. Although girls undertake similar types of work as boys, usually girls endure additional hardships because of the gender and cultural norms that portray girls as less valuable. In order to stop child labor, we must educate parents on why it’s so important for their daughters to stay in school and help them understand that the whole family and society benefits when a girl is allowed to continue her education. She’ll not only earn a better wage when she does go to work someday, but she’ll also be better protected from violence, early pregnancy, and HIV and AIDS.

90% of children involved in domestic labor throughout the world are girls. (UNICEF)

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G RL SPOTLIGHT: Meet Asha from Nepal

When Asha was eight, her parents sent her to work as a domestic servant in the home of a wealthier landowner, just for a year, to help bring additional income to the family. However, one year turned into two years, then into ten years, and Asha didn’t come home until she was 18 years old. When girls begin contributing financially to the household, the family learns to rely on that income and jobs that are intended to last to one or two years can become permanent positions. “I worked from very early in the morning until very late at night,” Asha says. “I would get up around 4:30 AM and wouldn’t get to sleep until 10 or 11 PM. I never had any days off.” Asha was one of an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 girls working as kamalari, as they are known in 13 | Educator’s Toolkit

Nepal. These girls are sent to work as contracted domestic servants in the houses of those more financially well-off. By raising awareness and calling attention to this problem, we are helping to dismantle systems like the kamalari. In addition to rescuing and rehabilitating these girls, Plan helps get them back into school, trains them in a trade, and supports them in running small businesses. Asha is doing much better these days. With Plan’s support, she now runs a restaurant called the Lawa Juni Hotel. Lawa Juni means “new life” in Tharu. “My former bosses, the landowners who used to work me so hard, they now come to my restaurant,” says Asha, blushing with obvious pride. “Now they compliment me on my cooking and speak to me with respect.”

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Teaching Topic: Economic Empowerment Imagine living on just $1.25 a day… Across the globe, approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, or 980 million people, live in extreme poverty.4 That’s over three times the population of the United States! Living in extreme poverty means that you lack almost all material possessions needed to survive and you live on $1.25 per day. Can you even buy lunch in your school cafeteria for $1.25? How would you live on $1.25 per day? Could you rent an apartment or pay the bus fare needed to get you to school? What types of food could you afford?

When a family is living in extreme poverty, children are often the first to feel the effects. As families struggle to pay their bills and feed their children, they often resort to strategies that have negative implications for children. Children may be forced to go hungry or leave school to work in hazardous conditions. Girls may also be forced to marry young to ensure the financial security of the family, as families often receive a dowry, livestock, or financial gift when they marry off a daughter.

Money to buy medicine or see a doctor if they are sick

Money to pay for school fees

Children who live in extreme poverty generally do not have: Access to clean drinking water

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Enough food to eat more than 1 meal per day

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Without access to jobs and assets, many girls and women around the world struggle to meet their most basic needs, leaving them extremely vulnerable. Women who are not financially secure also have little or no access to savings, assets, or insurance that can help them deal with a crisis. For a girl, her skills, knowledge, a safe school or a mentor, can all be important assets. An asset is anything that reduces her vulnerability and expands her opportunities. There are four types of assets: personal assets (like self-confidence, or good health); social assets (like peer networks, a support system, or a mentor); financial assets (like a savings account or vocational skills); and material assets (like a school uniform and books). Because girls have different needs at different stages of their lives, it’s important to ensure they build all four types of assets early, so that they can overcome future challenges.

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We may not realize that things like self-confidence, safe schools, and bank accounts are important assets, but they are. A lack of assets leaves a girl extremely vulnerable to shocks or disasters. For example, if an earthquake occurs, a drought hits, or a family member becomes ill or dies, her entire savings can be wiped out if she had any to begin with. In addition, girls often bear the responsibility of taking care of household chores and sick family members and these responsibilities carry a great deal of emotional and psychological burden. Plan helps poor women and girls around the world build up their income and assets, helping them to become more resilient and better able to cope when the worst happens. We also help young people acquire the skills they need to secure a livelihood so that they can support their families and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

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G RL SPOTLIGHT: Meet Laxmi from Nepal

“It is tough to balance my family life and social life,” said Laxmi, “but I am committed to make our community a model so that others can learn from us. I don’t want girls to face the same plight that I did in the past.”

At 15, Laxmi Thing was forced to drop out of school and marry a man who was uneducated and poor. Ten million girls under the age of 18 marry each year, often driving them into a life of poverty like Laxmi’s—with poor health and no education or job opportunities. In 1998, Laxmi was chosen as the chairperson of a women’s group in her community in Nepal. With

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her fellow group members, she started a monthly savings program, collecting 5 rupees (7 US cents) a month from each woman so that they could give small loans within their group. Today the women’s cooperative has 32.2 million rupees (US$390,000) in the loan program and they serve about 1,600 women in the community.

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Teaching Topics: Clean Water As Americans, access to safe drinking water is part of our everyday lives. Running water allows us to shower and make coffee in the morning, water the lawn in the afternoon, start dinner in the evening, wash our hands, and keep hydrated throughout the day. Imagine now, if you can, that there is no running water in your home, in your school, or in your community. What would you do? What if you had to send your child to fetch water every morning? What if your child had to walk three miles each way, wait 20 minutes in line at the pump, and carry home containers weighing up to 40 lbs? Getting water would become a priority each morning, even before going to school. And what if the only available water was unsafe to drink, so that your

women and girls. In most families in the developing world, it is a girl’s responsibility to fetch water for her family. The long walk to the pump may force her to miss school. If her school doesn’t have clean water or separate toilets for girls, she is even less likely to attend, particularly when she starts menstruating. By providing access to water and sanitation services, such as bathrooms and water pumps, the number of girls who are absent from school can decrease by up to 37 percent.5 By simply providing a separate bathroom for girls, school enrollment rates have shown to improve by over 15 percent.6

child was getting sick and missing school?

Approximately 443 million school days each year are missed due to water related illnesses. (UNDP)

Without access to safe water and sanitation, life for poor families is difficult—even more so for the

How the lack of clean water and proper bathrooms affects children at different ages:

Age 0-3 For children under the age of three, poor water and sanitation can result in life-threatening chronic diarrhea.

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Age 5 Diarrheal diseases caused by consuming poor water prevents nutrient absorption and can lead to malnutrition as well as physical and cognitive underdevelop-ment.

Age 10 Water and sanitation facilities in schools reduce the transmission of disease and increase student attendance.

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Plan works with communities to improve access to safe drinking water and to raise awareness of the importance of waste management because the benefits of clean water can literally save and change lives.

Project Spotlight: Ethiopia In June 2009, community members from a village in Ethiopia held a meeting to talk about the problems they were having with water shortages and water-borne diseases. Their only water source was a dirty pit over one mile away. The community decided to develop their own natural water supply and to do this they formed a steering committee comprised of seven members, including women, elders, and children to manage the process. The committee submitted a proposal

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to Plan requesting technical and financial support to build a water station with faucets coming from a storage tank that would be fed by rain water. Their proposal was accepted and now 300 family members living in 63 households have access to safe and clean water. In addition, some members of the community have been trained on how to repair minor problems. To cover the cost of any necessary repairs, community members contribute money on a monthly basis for a repair fund.

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Teaching Topic: Early Marriage Imagine if you were forced to marry at the age of 12 to a man twice your age… In the poorest countries, many girls are married before their 15th birthday. Girls who get married younger tend to have more children as a means of security in their marriage and in society.7 But girls aged 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women aged 20 to 24, because their bodies are not ready to support a pregnancy. Why marry them off so young? A family living in poverty may see marriage as a way to improve everyone’s standard of living. But far from securing a girl’s future, early and forced marriages can drive girls and their children into cycles of poverty, poor health, and illiteracy. When girls are forced to marry young, they are more likely to endure violence and abuse because they have not learned how to speak up for themselves or deal with an abusive family member. If a girl dares resist her marriage, she may be subject to serious harm. In short, early marriage places girls at great risk.

Early marriage, or child marriage, is a practice most common in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It is often fueled by poverty and custom. The dowry that parents receive for their daughters from the husband’s family is a financial incentive for many child marriages. When we talk to girls all over the developing world many tell us they do not want to marry early because they fear that doing so will force them to leave school. Plan works to end the practice of child marriage by increasing access to education and life skills training for girls; supporting youth groups that raise awareness about children’s rights; and working with local partners to change social norms and promote community understanding about the harmful impacts of early marriage.

Physical Abuse

Psychological Abuse

Pressure to bear children quickly

Could result in long-term injuries

Could result in mental illness, isolation, or suicide

Could result in long-term injuries

Dependency

Sexual Abuse

Could result in a girl never being able to leave a negative and dangerous situation

Could result in both physical injuries and depression, isolation or suicide

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G RL SPOTLIGHT:

Meet Fatmata from Sierra Leone

Fatmata, 17, of Sierra Leone, and her four siblings were raised by a single mother who was forced to marry at 14 – just like millions of girls worldwide who are forced to marry older men when they are still children. Fatmata’s mother was determined that her daughters would have access to education. Fatmata’s commitment to ending the harmful practice of early marriage is a testament to her mother’s efforts and shows that change is possible. “I stand on behalf of the girls of Sierra Leone, for our rights to choose who we marry and when,” Fatmata told a room filled with policy-makers,

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ministers, journalists, congress people, and activists gathered in New York City for the 56th Commission on the Status of Women. In addition to presenting to stakeholders, Fatmata also acts in plays, dramatizing the issue so that people in rural areas can better understand the consequences of early marriage. She speaks on the radio, writes and performs songs, and puts up posters and distributes brochures, all while studying to become an accountant and working her way through high school.

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Solving the Problem In every area—health, education, employment, and rights—investing in girls drives economic growth, reduces poverty, and improves the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities. To ensure the promise and potential of present and future generations, the Because I am a Girl

initiative focuses on projects that specifically address the needs and rights of girls. Visit becauseiamagirl.us to follow the stories of girls fighting for rights and equality in their communities around the world.

Protection Nepal Fighting Against Child Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence Protection India Combating Child Labor in Andhra Pradesh

Education Ethiopia Girls Empowerment through Education

Microfinance Vietnam Village Savings and Loans for Women

Health Indonesia Food Security and Nutrition Project

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Teaching Activities Now that you know the facts, help your students understand the issues. Choose the activities that are best for your classroom from the following

pages, and use them to engage your students in promoting girls’ rights and gender equality.

Additional Resources: Because I Am a Girl Multimedia Meet and follow twelve girls from around the world who are working to promote girls’ rights and equality in their communities! http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2D8EB503A00B6CAA You can also show your students short films on a wider range of issues girls experience in their daily lives: http://www.youtube.com/BIAAGUSA

YUGA’s Because I Am a Girl Campaign Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA) is Plan International USA’s youth network. The YUGA network promotes global change through education, awareness, and advocacy. Through the Because I am a Girl Campaign, YUGA members educate their schools and communities about gender inequality and barriers girls face. Visit YUGA’s website to learn how you can help your students stay involved with global issues year-round: www.planusa.org/youth.

Because I Am a Girl Reports Each year, Plan publishes its Because I Am a Girl report on the state of the world’s girls. Aiming to educate policymakers and inspire a global movement, the report series takes an in-depth look at issues affecting girls and lays out specific recommendations for action. Each report documents injustices and inequalities with undeniable facts and statistics, as well as quotes and stories from real girls. You can download all the reports online at: planusa.org/girlreports.

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Activity #1: Gender vs. Sex

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Concept:

Students learn about gender norms and stereotypes by talking about their personal experiences.

Time:

25 minutes

Ages:

10 and up

Participants:

15

Materials:

Blackboard/whiteboard and chalk/markers

Prep: Learn the difference between gender and sex. “Sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.9

Part B: Defining Sex/Gender Roles Read the following sentences and ask students whether the sentence describes sex or gender.

“Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.10

(To make the activity more interactive, you can place signs labeled “gender” and “sex” on different sides of the room and have students stand under their choice, or have students vote for their choice.)

“Male” and “female” are sex categories, while “masculine” and “feminine” are gender categories.11

Men make the decisions within the family. (Answer: Gender)

Part A: Describing the Difference

Boys are better at sports than girls. (Answer: Gender)

Explain the following: • Gender and sex are not the same thing. • Someone’s sex refers to his or her biological and physical traits that identify him or her as either male or female. Someone’s gender refers to ideas in a culture or society about what it means to be masculine or feminine. We learn about and internalize ideas about gender as we grow up. Ask students if they have questions about the difference between sex and gender. Answer their questions accordingly. 23 | Educator’s Toolkit

Women stay home and look after the children. (Answer: Gender) Women can give birth. (Answer: Sex) Girls play with dolls. (Answer: Gender) Men do not lactate. (Answer: Sex) A boy’s name is Alex. (Answer: Gender) Boys are tough. (Answer: Gender) Women menstruate. (Answer: Sex) Girls are pretty. (Answer: Gender)

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Moms cook dinner for their families. (Answer: Gender) Boys do not like ballet. (Answer: Gender) Women can breastfeed. (Answer: Sex) Discuss with participants why they chose their answers. During this discussion, reveal whether the sentences above described attributes related to sex or gender.

Part C: Discussion Divide a chalkboard, whiteboard, or piece of poster paper into two columns. Give the students chalk or a marker to write with. Ask each student to come to the board and write at least one word that describes girls and at least one word that describes boys. (Or ask students for words and you can write them.)

because you are a boy? What are the expectations that are placed on girls/ boys? Have you ever done the opposite of what was expected of you as a girl/boy? What kinds of reactions did you get? How did you feel? How do you think people learn about gender norms? How do think that gender norms are reinforced? Who tells you how you should act? Do you think you could explain to someone the difference between sex and gender?

Once you’ve filled out the lists, allow students to read over the two lists for at least a minute. Ask students whether the words they wrote down relate to a boy/girl’s gender or sex. Engage students in a discussion about why they wrote their different words.

Part D: Debrief Do you think boys and girls are treated differently in your school? How so? (To the girls) Has anyone ever told you that you had to do something because you are a girl? Has anyone told you that you could not do something because you are a girl? (To the boys) Have you ever been told that you had to do something because you are a boy? Have you ever heard that you could not do something

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Activity #2: Step Forward

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Concept:

Students learn about advantages and disadvantages to being born and raised in different parts of the world.

Time:

35 minutes

Ages:

13 and up

Participants:

25

Materials:

Open space, role cards (one for each student)

Prep:

Print and cut out the role cards. If you want to, create your own—for example, you could add role cards to match the city or community in which you live.

Part A: Assign Roles, Step Forward! Hand out the role cards at random, one to each student. Tell them not to show it to anyone else. Give them a minute or two to think silently about their new identity from the role card and help clarify what the identity means if anyone is confused. Ask the group to line up in one single-file line against a wall. (Make sure there is plenty of open space. See diagram on the following page.)

about the statement before deciding whether or not to take a step forward, if it applies to them and their role card. After reading all of the statements, invite everyone to take note of their final positions. Students will notice that they are standing at different points and some may never have left the line.

Part B: Discussion How did you feel stepping forward or not stepping forward?

Tell the students that you will read a list of statements. The student will have to make assumptions about their identity and should take a step forward if they think the statement is true for them.

Can you guess one another’s identity? (Let students reveal their identity during this part of the discussion.)

If the statement does not apply to them, they should stay put. If a student takes a step forward, they stay there. If another statement applies to the student, they will take another step forward. Students never move back.

If two people had the same card, did they end up at the same spot? Why or why not?

Read the statements on the following page out loud, one at a time. Give students time to think 25 | Educator’s Toolkit

How easy or hard was it to take on the identity of the person on your card?

How do you think this game represents advantages and disadvantages of people in the United States and people in developing countries? becauseiamagirl.us


Students line up along a line

Teacher calls out situations

Students take steps forward

Situations: I have never encountered a serious financial crisis.

I am not afraid of being stopped by the police.

I can go to the doctor when I am sick.

I have never felt discriminated against because of my age.

I have the confidence to make my own decisions about my money. I have personal documentation, such as a birth certificate.

I have never felt discriminated against because of my gender. I know how and when to wash my hands properly.

I have an adult role model.

I will attend college.

I have received all of my immunizations.

I believe I can study and follow the career path of my choice.

I am never hungry after a meal. I can walk to the nearest hospital or clinic.

I am not afraid of being harassed or attacked on the streets.

I believe boys and girls have the same opportunities in my community.

I can vote in national and local elections.

I have housing with running water and electricity.

I am not afraid for the future of my children.

I have a television and telephone line.

I can buy new clothes at least once every three months.

I believe that my language, religion, and culture are respected in the society where I live.

I can marry the person of my choice.

I believe that people listen to my opinion on social and political issues. becauseiamagirl.us

I can use and benefit from the Internet.

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Role Cards: You are a 14-year-old girl in the Bronx, NY. Your parents are married, have jobs and you are in an after-school program.

You are a 5-year-old boy born to the President of Tanzania. Your parents are very wealthy and you live in the city.

You are a 5-year-old boy in a city in Mozambique. Your dad has a job and your mom sells vegetables at the market. Your siblings attend boarding school.

You are a 15-year-old girl in the Hamptons in New York. You have lots of friends, you can buy new clothes every 3 months, and you are thinking about where you want to go to college.

You are a 5-year-old girl in rural Tanzania. Your father died when you were 3, and you do not attend school because you have to watch your younger siblings while your mom works.

You are a 10-year-old girl in Haiti. Your house has no running water, but your school does. You are the youngest of 7 children. Your family is considered poor, but you have enough food to eat and can pay school fees.

You are a 10-year-old boy in Rwanda. You attend primary school. You are the youngest of 3 children and your parents have passed away from HIV/ AIDS. Your 15-year-old brother works so the family has an income.

You are a 15-year-old girl in Vietnam. You will be married next year to a man your parents will choose. You have completed primary school but did not continue to secondary school because you have to help your parents grow rice. Your two brothers are in secondary school.

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You are an 11-year-old girl in El Salvador. You walk two hours to fetch water for your family instead of going to school. You are often harassed by men in your community.

You are a 12-year-old girl in Burkina Faso. You are married and pregnant. You never went to school, and you had no say over when or whom you married.

You are a 17-year-old girl in Egypt. You are married to a man with HIV, and your newborn child also has HIV.

You are the 5-year-old son of LeBron James. You live in Miami, FL and your family is very wealthy.

You are a 14-year-old girl in Guatemala. You have the measles. You have never been severely ill before. You are in secondary school.

You are an 8-year-old girl in Kenya. Your younger siblings died before reaching age 5. You go to school, and your family has enough money to eat three meals a day.

You are the teenage daughter of the president of the United States. You go to a private school and have access to your own car.

You are a 4-year-old girl living in India without a toilet or clean drinking water. None of your siblings go to school, and your younger brother is always sick.

You are a 10-year old boy born in Indonesia, but your family immigrated to New York City when you were a baby. You go to public school and your family is considered middle class.

You are a 10-year old girl born in Thailand, but your family immigrated to New York City when you were a baby. You go to public school and work at the family business after school and on weekends.

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You are a 10-year old girl born in the mountains in Pakistan. You will be married to a man your parents choose at age 12. After marriage, you will have to leave school.

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You are a 10-year old boy in the capital city of Bangladesh. You go to school, but there are no facilities for bathrooms and no running water. Your sisters do not attend school.

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Activity #3: Who Am I? Concept:

Students consider how gender affects the words they use to describe themselves.

Time:

20 minutes

Ages:

8 and up

Participants:

10

Materials:

Paper and pencil for each student

Prep:

Print out “Data Collection Sheet for Activity #3.” Prepare to explain the definition of a noun and adjective. Noun: A word that refers to a person, place, thing, state, or quality. Adjective: A word that modifies nouns and pronouns, primarily by describing a particular quality of the word they are modifying, such as wise in a wise grandmother, or perfect in a perfect score, or handsome in he is extremely handsome.

Part A: Nouns and Adjectives

Part B: Discussion

Hand out pieces of paper to students. Ask students to write “nouns” at the top of the piece of paper.

Ask each student to give one noun that best describes him/her. Write the noun in the first column of the Data Collection Sheet (nouns).

Tell students that that they are going to have one minute to write as many nouns as they can to describe themselves. Provide them with the definition of a noun and give examples like: “girl,” “athlete,” or “sister.” After one minute of writing, tell students to stop. Have them flip over the piece of paper and write “adjectives” at the top of the piece of paper. Tell them that that they are going to have one minute to write as many adjectives as they can to describe themselves. Provide them with the definition of an adjective and give examples like: “smart,” “athletic,” or “helpful.”

Ask if anyone wrote down the same word. Tally how many people wrote down the same words. Record that number on the Data Collection Sheet (nouns) for Activity #3. After you have asked each student for one noun, ask if there are any other nouns that participants had written down that were not mentioned. Continue until you have recorded all the nouns selected. Once you have collected all nouns, move onto adjectives. Repeat steps 8-11, but with adjectives instead.

After one minute of writing, tell students to stop.

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Part C: Debrief Are there any words that you believe only apply to boys? Why? Are there any words that you believe only apply to girls? Why? Is there any adjective that does not apply to girls?

(Pick the adjective that the most amount of girls wrote down.) Why do you think so many girls wrote this word down? Do you think this word also applies to boys? If so, how? (Pick the adjective that the most amount of boys wrote down) Why do you think so many boys wrote this word down? Do you think this word also applies to girls? If so, how?

Is there any adjective that does not apply to boys? Do you think there are words that were called out by other individuals that you did not write down but feel also apply to you? Which ones and why?

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Data Collection Sheet: Nouns Nouns

Example: Athelete

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# Girls that selected this noun

3

# Boys that selected this noun

10

Total number of participants that selected this noun 13

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Data Collection Sheet: Adjectives Adjectives

Example: Strong

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# Girls that selected this adjective 3

# Boys that selected this adjective 10

Total number of participants that selected this adjective 13

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Activity #4: The Root of the Problem

13

Concept:

Students learn how decisions made at a young age can impact their lives.

Time:

15 minutes

Ages:

10 and up

Participants:

10

Materials:

Copies of the healthy tree and unhealthy tree for each student, pens/pencils

Part A: Healthy and Unhealthy Trees Explain to participants that the way a tree grows and flourishes is similar to how humans flourish: A healthy tree grows because good nutrients from the soil are passed through its roots into its trunk and branches, allowing its leaves to grow and its fruit to blossom. However, if there isn’t enough sunlight, water, or nutrients, or if there are harmful chemicals in the soil, then the roots, trunk, branches, and leaves will all suffer. A healthy human grows because he or she has strong roots, meaning that he or she has all the necessary resources to fulfill his or her potential, including the support of his or her family and community. Give students a copy of the “unhealthy tree” and ask them to fill in the tree as follows: In the center of the tree, select a scenario a girl might face, for example, a girl in a developing country has to drop out of school in the second grade. In the tree roots, write possible causes as to why a second-grader would have to drop out of school. Example: “She has too many chores to do around the house and doesn’t have time to attend school.” becauseiamagirl.us

On the branches, write the consequences of not being able to continue to go to school after second grade. Example: “She did not learn about her basic human rights and was married off at a young age.” After the group has finished writing, ask students to share their answers. Discuss the causes and consequences of dropping out of school in second grade. Together as a class, fill in the “healthy tree” diagram by providing the enabling causes and resulting consequences of the opposite scenario, i.e. a girl in a developing country graduates from high school.

Part B: Discussion Using the “unhealthy tree,” how would the consequences change if this were about a boy? Using the “unhealthy tree,” could this example happen at your school? Why or why not? What has helped you stay in school? Who has helped you stay in school? What positive consequences have you experienced from staying in school? How do you think it will impact your future?

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The Unhealthy Tree

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The Healthy Tree

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Activity #5: So, What About Boys? Concept:

Participants reveal and discuss their perceptions about the differences between girls and boys.

Time:

20 minutes

Ages:

15 and up

Participants:

25

Materials:

Papers and markers

Prep:

Make space! Move desks and tables away from two walls in your classroom. Write “true,” “false,” and “I do not know” on three separate pieces of paper. Hang the papers along one wall of the classroom. Write “agree” and “disagree” on two separate pieces of paper. Hang the papers along a different wall of the classroom.

Part A: True/False Explain to students that one part of the room is “true,” one part of the room is “false,” and one part of the room is “I do not know.” Read the statements below and ask students to stand on the side of the room corresponding to their guess. After the students have stopped moving, ask for at least one person from each group to tell you why he/she chose to stand on that side of the room. Once participants have discussed their guesses, reveal the answers.

Girls spend 85% more time per day on unpaid care work.) The following characteristics are facts about men and boys: They enjoy physical labor, sports, big meals, and action movies. (Answer: False. These are all gender norms and are shaped by culture. None of these are facts!) Women account for 48% of the labor force but 59% of workers make less than $8 an hour. (Answer: True.)

Part B: Agree/Disagree Statements The average grade point average for high school students in the United States is 3.09 for girls and 2.86 for boys (on a 4.0 scale). (Answer: True.) 6 out of 10 women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. (Answer: True.) Girls spend approximately 25% more time per day on unpaid care work than boys. (Answer: False. 37 | Educator’s Toolkit

Explain to students that one part of the room is “agree” and one part of the room is “disagree.” Read the statements below and ask students to stand on the side of the room corresponding to their guess. After the students have stopped moving, ask for at least one person from each group to tell you why he/she chose to stand on that side of the room.

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Once participants have discussed their answers, reveal how individuals selected from India and Rwanda responded.

Responses

What can be done to overcome the barriers to women and girls from living a life free of violence? What can be done to make sure women and girls have equal opportunities as men and boys?

A woman should tolerate violence in order to keep her family together. 65% of participants from India and Rwanda totally or partially agreed. A further 43% agreed with the statement “There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten.” Changing diapers, giving kids a bath and feeding kids are the mother’s responsibility. 67% of boys and 71% of girls in Rwanda agreed. 83% of boys and 87% of girls in India agreed. If resources are scarce, it is better to educate a boy instead of a girl. Over 60% of children interviewed in India agreed.

Part C: Debrief Were you surprised about the group’s overall responses? In the second part of the activity, in what ways did your responses look similar to the responses of young people in India and Rwanda? In the second part of the activity, in what ways were the responses different to the responses of young people in India and Rwanda? Why do you think the individuals in India and Rwanda responded in the manner that they did?

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Activity #6: Assets for Girls

14

Concept:

Students learn the important assets girls need, but may not have, in some parts of the world. (In developing countries, assets can include access to savings or credit, ownership of land, the support of a group or network, access to knowledge and information, resources for good health, and job skills, among other things.)

Time:

60 minutes

Ages:

15 and up

Participants:

12 (3 groups of 4 students)

Materials:

Space, tape, scissors, and asset cards

Prep:

Print and cut out all asset cards (financial, health, safety, and personal). Make sure that you print/cut out enough asset cards for each group. All groups should have the same amount of asset cards. Then create 7 signs, each with one of the following numbers: 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22. Tape the number signs to the wall.

Set up number cards like this:

10

12

14

16

Asset

Asset

Leave room for students to tape asset cards below

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18

20

22

Asset

Asset

Asset

Asset

Asset

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Part A: Define and Assign Assets Start by explaining what assets are. (Refer to the Economic Empowerment section on pg. 14.) Divide students into groups of four. Make sure each group receives a full set of asset cards and a roll of tape. Tell groups that they have 20 minutes to hang all of the asset cards on the wall. Each asset should be placed under the number representing the age at which students agree a girl should have that asset. Once the groups have hung up their assets, spend 15 minutes discussing their choices.

Part B: Discussion What assets did your group disagree on? What assets were easy for your group to agree on? Why did your group put (pick one card) under _____ age? Do you think your group would have rearranged the assets if they were for a boy? Why or why not? Do you think it is easy for girls in your community to have these assets by these ages? Why or why not? Do you think it would be easy for a girl in a developing country to have these assets by these ages? Why or why not? What are other assets that you think girls should have?

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Financial Assets for Activity #6: Has own savings that can be accessed in an emergency

Has visited the nearest bank

Has experience discussing financial decisions with others

Owns an asset that she could sell/rent to cover the costs of a sudden illness

Follows her savings plan

Has someone to borrow money from in an emergency

Has experience tracking what she spends

Has experience or practices saving regularly

Has enough savings to cover a week’s worth of living costs

Knows what a savings plan is

Has a productive skill that earns money

Understands the obligations of a loan

Has financial goals

Knows how to get more information about financial services

Follows her spending plan

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Health Assets for Activity #6: Knows about health and hygiene issues

Knows how and when to wash hands properly

Knows where the nearest hospital is

Knows the different ways in which someone can contract HIV

Understands the risks associated with certain types of unsafe work

Knows the danger signs in pregnancy

Knows the danger signs in delivery

Knows when to go get an HIV test

Knows when emergency transport should be called for a woman who is in labor

Knows the signs of diarrhea in a child and how to treat it

Knows about different kinds of family planning

Knows what a condom is/does and how to use it

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Safety Assets for Activity #6: Has a plan to avoid harassment in the streets

Knows that teachers are not supposed to ask you to come to their homes

Knows where the nearest police station is

Has a safe place to spend the night away from home if she needs to

Knows where to go if she is being threatened with an illegal marriage

Knows to ask for a female police officer if she is uncomfortable with a male

Knows her address

Knows how to get herself home from school

Has an adult role model she can trust

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Personal Assets for Activity #6: Has non-family friends

Has personal documentation (with birth date and photo on it)

Has a degree/certificate of achievement

Has a mentor or adult role model

Has considered what kind of job she would like to have

Has the skills to make a plan for her use of time during the day

Knows how to make a study schedule

Has a safe place to meet friends at least once a week

Knows where to go for information on job training

Knows the legal age of marriage

Is free to meet nonfamily friends at least once a week

Knows where to go for information about business training

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Act Now! Now that your students know some of the problems girls face around the world, here are opportunities for them to keep the momentum going and stay engaged all year long! Engage! Get your students involved in Plan’s youth network, Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA). YUGA members will continue to raise awareness and educate their peers through advocacy campaigns throughout the year! www.planusa.org/youth

Give! Invest in a girl and she’ll change the world. It really is that simple. By making a donation or holding a fundraiser for Because I am a Girl, you are helping to ensure that girls in the developing world have access to the most basic of human rights: clean water, food, security, health care, education, and microfinance services. Visit becauseiamagirl.us to learn more!

Connect! Sign up to connect your classroom with a classroom in one of Plan’s program countries through our School-2-School Linking program! Your students will participate in monthly activities for crosscultural learning and build friendships with young people around the world. www.planusa.org/youth

So what are you waiting for? Join the 4 million girl promise today! Be part of a global movement that promises to give 4 million girls a brighter future.

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References 1 UNESCO, Global Education Digest 2011. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Documents/global_education_digest_2011_en.pdf 2 UNICEF. June 15, 2012. http://www.unicef.org/media/9482.html 3 UNICEF, ILO 2010 Facts on Child Labor, http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58009.html 4 UN Millennium Development Goals Report; UN, 2007 5 CARE Action Network, September 24, 2010 http://bit.ly/cE92LN 6 UN WATER, “Sanitation: a wise investment for health, dignity, and development”, Key Messages for the International Year of Sanitation, 2008. 7 UN Population Fund, http://foweb.unfpa.org/SWP2011/reports/EN-SWOP2011-FINAL.pdf, pg. 18 8 Adapted from Plan Canada 9 http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/ 10 Ibid 11 Ibid 12 Adapted from “Take a Step Forward” at http://www.eycb.coe.int/Compass/en/chapter_2/2_38.asp. 13 Adapted from Health and Development Networks: Gender or Sex: Who Care? (2001) 14 Quoted from Population Council’s “Girl-Centered Program Design: A Toolkit to Develop, Strengthen & Expand Adolescent Girls Programs http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/2010PGY_AdolGirlToolkitComplete.pdf

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Get Connected to Plan’s Youth Programs! yuga@planusa.org planusa.org/advocate facebook.com/YUGAcentral youtube.com/user/PlanUSAvideos yugaplanusa.wordpress.com @YUGAPlanUSA

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Because I Am a Girl Educator Toolkit  
Because I Am a Girl Educator Toolkit  

This toolkit is designed to give educators the exclusive opportunity to engage with Plan International USA’s Because I am a Girl initiative....

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