girls rights | ActionAid UK

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Girls rights

Purity, 13, and Abigail, 14, used to miss school in West Pokot, Kenya, because they couldn’t afford sanitary towels.

The recent news that Kenya’s government will give free sanitary towels are to schoolgirls is a big step towards making sure they don't have to drop out of school when they have their period. It's unfair that millions of girls in the developing world are held back by their periods - so we welcome this move to ensure that all schoolgirls in Kenya have access to sanitary towels and tampons.

Brides and grooms can choose to send a message of love, and change lives for good with an ActionAid wedding gift list

As wedding season approaches it can sometimes be difficult to remember what’s important. Seating plans and colour schemes can all too easily take over, leaving DIY wedding planners baffled by a to-do list full of things they never knew they would care about so much. I know because I’m planning a wedding myself, and have just emerged from the depths of centrepiece research (conclusion: it doesn’t matter). Amidst all the decisions - real or silk flowers? whether to brave the first dance? - we shouldn't forget what weddings are really about. Find out how brides and grooms can choose to send a message of love, and change lives for good, on their wedding day. 

This women's group in India has helped Ajmira (left) and 70 other women to become more independent - through training and support on women's rights, domestic violence and land rights

Why women-only groups are vital

Posted in Blogs 1 year 7 months ago

Plans for women-only screenings of the Wonder Woman film premiere in the US and a festival primarily for black women in Paris have raised questions about the impact of dedicated spaces for marginalised groups. Some people have raised concerns that these kinds of spaces may create even more division within society. At ActionAid, we have seen firsthand how safe, inclusive, women-only spaces, such as girls’ clubs, reflect circles and cooperatives, can offer refuge, as well as foster women's leadership, agency, and collective capacity to challenge issues like violence and abuse. Here are five examples.

Susan, who leads the Kongelai Women's Network in Kenya. Their aim is to end FGM and ensure girls can stay in school

Meet the FGM heroes: Susan, Kenya

Posted in Blogs 1 year 11 months ago

Susan is a women’s rights campaigner in western Kenya, who yearns for girls to complete their education. The 39-year-old mother dropped out of school when she was 12 years old. The reason? She endured female genital mutilation (FGM) at the age of 12 and got married shortly after. Now, Susan leads a network of 107 local women who want to bring FGM to an end, and ensure girls can stay in school. 

At ActionAid's centre in Varanasi, India, more than 100 children who have experienced trafficking are finding safety and hope, along with counselling and education, and the chance to play with their friends

Human traffickers look like you or me

Posted in Blogs 2 years 1 month ago

It starts with a smile and a promise. An offer of help to a struggling mum or show of affection to a neglected child. A golden opportunity to a hardworking girl who wants to free her family from poverty. But behind the human trafficker's apparent kindness is an industry that causes untold misery around the world.

Halimoon (left) and Jharna (right) are two young girls growing up in Bangladesh.

In the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, two young girls are growing up. They share the same surroundings, and the same dreams, but their lives couldn’t be more different. While one girl dresses her baby brother, the other puts on her school uniform. While one girl looks for litter on the streets to sell, the other learns English and maths. And while one girl is scared of the boys who shout at her on the street, the other plays with her friends in safety. I’d like to tell you the story of Halimoon and Jharna, and how you can transform a girl’s life through child sponsorship this Christmas.