Careers Helping Girls to Raise Their Voices

Helping Girls to Raise Their Voices

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Plan International's new CEO Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, a former UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director for Management at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), spoke to us about the goals of her organization.

Credit Suisse: What does the International Women's Day mean for your organization?

Anne-Brigitte Albrectsen: For Plan International it is a day to draw attention to the situation of girls who continue to be among the most excluded and discriminated groups in the world and who will be tomorrow's women.

At least 1 in 5 adolescent girls around the world is denied their right to education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict and discrimination. Every day, girls are taken out of school and forced to work or marriage where they risk isolation and abuse. Missing out on school can mark the end of a girl being able to choose her own future.

As a child rights organization, with a special focus on girls, we strongly believe that by investing in girls we can bring about intergenerational change.

What is Plan International's goal for Women's Day?

This year, we are celebrating the achievements of girls and their transformative power in the communities we work across the world.

We work in some of the poorest communities to ensure all girls have the chance to raise their voices so they can take charge of decisions that affect their lives. We work towards creating an enabling environment where girls can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Through our Because I am a Girl global campaign, launched in 2012, Plan International has led the call for girls' rights to be recognized as human rights. Through more than 500 girls-focused projects, Plan International has helped transform the lives of almost 5 million girls reached directly since 2012. In that same period, the lives of more than 40 million girls and boys have been indirectly improved as a result of our work.

Strong partnership with government, civil society and the private sector have formed the backbone of our work on girls' rights. Our partnership with Credit Suisse, for example, focuses on financial education and life skills for adolescent girls, empowering the next generation of women to achieve better future for themselves and their communities.