Video: In a World Designed for Men, We Put Girls First

Our friends at Plan are calling for equal opportunities for all children. But gender inequality and discrimination against girls mean they are often denied their rights. Watch their powerful video about the importance of gender equality now.

Image: PlanBørnefonden

Around the world, girls experience discrimination and are being undervalued, undermined and underestimated. By today’s standards and speed, it will take another 200 years to fully achieve gender equality. Plan Børnefonden, an NGO working around the globe for children’s rights, has put together a short film called, “2021 is the Year of the Girl!” to highlight some of the gender disparities that we need to work together to defeat, so that we can truly achieve meaningful equality, and we wanted to share it here to amplify the important, urgent work being done.

“To achieve gender equality, we need to put girls first. It’s about time.”
-Kari Helene Partapuoli, general secretary at Plan International Norway

There are so many gender-specific issues that affect girls, often with the outcome of making it difficult or impossible for them to access the same opportunities as their male counterparts, several of which are touched upon in this film. Take periods, for example. Girls around the world are still dealing with stigma around their monthly period. In some countries, girls are considered to be “dirty”. Without access to tampons, sanitary pads or even toilets, many girls stay at home rather than going to school. For a whole week. Every month.

Some more information based on what is shared in the film:

  • In a British survey from 2017, 95% of women working in emergency services stated that the personal protective equipment they were supposed to use was ill-fitting, hampered their work, and was not made for female proportions.
  • Based on research done in 2011 by the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia that compared injuries from female and male drivers in the same type of car accidents, a woman is 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car wreck than a man.
  • It’s harder to make a diagnosis and know how medications work on women than on men – since women are seldom included in testing. Often early research, especially when testing on animals, is done on male species, because of fewer hormone fluctuations.
    …Yet we use women 90% of the time when we test anti-aging products.

These are just three of the multitude of areas where we see how the way the world is designed often doesn’t reflect women and their experiences, but also harms them in the process. Part of doing the work for gender equality, no matter who you are, is seeking to reduce those disparities, and help to repair the damage done as we find new solutions that give everyone a more equal shot at life. We’re so grateful to our friends at Plan International for their tireless and important work, and for letting us share their video with you. Learn more about what they do and how you can support their work by visiting

Text and images used with permission from Plan International Norway


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