It’s time to hold the world accountable for action on girls’ rights

Plan International to help lead initiative that will track progress and press for action on global promises of equality for girls and women

COPENHAGEN, May 17, 2016

A lack of data has left millions of girls around the world invisible, making it nearly impossible to know whether any progress is being made to help lift them out of poverty, end abuse, child marriage and early pregnancies that lead to thousands of maternal deaths. But a new data tracking tool announced today at the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen is aiming to change that.

The tracker is a joint data and research initiative led by groups including Plan International, the International Women’s Health Coalition, KPMG, ONE Campaign and Women Deliver. It will ensure decision-makers are held to account on promises to achieve true equality for girls and women during the 15-year implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“A better world for adolescent girls is a better world for all,” said Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. “The progress of adolescent girls is a vital marker of success in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which is why the tracker announced today is absolutely essential. We can’t expect to reach goals without a plan of action and a way to track progress that holds all stakeholders accountable.”

The new data and research partnership was announced at the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, the largest forum in more than a decade for discussion of girls’ and women’s health, rights, and wellbeing, and one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals. Riseboro is in attendance at the conference, representing Plan International Canada and the voices of a group of 17 young Canadian women who shared their views on gender equality and empowerment at a Plan International Canada event in Ottawa on May 2.

At Women Deliver, Riseboro reiterated the importance of data in ensuring NGOs such as Plan International can work toward ending child marriage, preventing gender-based violence and ensuring the rights of girls are protected.

“The data revolution is critical,” said Riseboro. “Delivering real outcomes for the most excluded girls around the world will be a benchmark of success in our global efforts to reach the most vulnerable populations. The only way to know if we are getting there is to measure and then share those results with the communities we’re working in, and with Canadians, in order to strengthen decision-making at local, national and global levels.”

The Women Deliver conference included a videotaped address from Plan International Canada Celebrated Ambassador Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who also emphasized the imperative of tracking and understanding progress in order to make a real difference in the lives of adolescent girls in developing countries.

About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

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