Plan Hosts Empowering Girls: Education and Technology at 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Feb 23, 2011, 15:41 ET from Plan International USA

Side event features youth delegate from Cameroon speaking on the transformative possibilities of technology

NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plan International, UNICEF, and the UN Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) hosted a side event during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to discuss how technology empowers girls and promotes their global participation.  



"This year's CSW touches on gender, education, and technology. These are still areas where girls and women are lagging behind because of some of the barriers we face," said Linda Raftree, Social Media and New Technology Advisor for Plan International.

"Girls still face access barriers and those of us who work with new technologies need to be aware of who is being left out when we propose using them in our work. Income levels, language, literacy, education, customs and gender discrimination are barriers that girls face when trying to access any kind of opportunity, new technology included."

The event presented cutting-edge findings from Plan's 2010 Because I am a Girl Report: Digital and Urban Frontiers, the fourth in a series of annual reports examining the rights of girls and women around the world.

Focusing on two of the 21st century's fastest growing areas -- the boom in city populations and the explosion of IT and communication technology -- the report examines the prospects and perils facing girls. While there are great opportunities, prejudice and poverty exclude millions of girls from taking advantage of all that technology can offer.

Raftree was joined by Fabiola, 17, a girl delegate from Plan Cameroon, who spoke on her experiences with information technology and girls' rights. "I will say girls are full citizens. We are not simply mothers of tomorrow but leaders of future generations and members of our society.  Girls should be given equal rights and opportunities to be engaged in science and technology just like the boys.

"The world has been reduced to a global village with science and technology. Girls and women should not be left behind. All we need is to express our minds and we should be guaranteed freedom of expression.  When we are treated as full partners in development issues, real change will result."

Plan supports increasing access for girls and women to new technology, investment in education for girls and women, and stopping gender-based violence against the girl child.

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SOURCE Plan International USA