BRAC Signs the Girl Declaration, Advocates Putting Girls at the Heart of Development Agenda

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World's largest implementing partner of Girl Effect initiative throws support behind global advocacy effort for greater focus on creating opportunity for girls.

"The Girl Declaration is important because it is girls directly articulating their needs, their vision, their hopes and their dreams." - Susan Davis, president and CEO of BRAC USA

Earlier this month, BRAC joined 25 other leading organizations in signing the Girl Declaration, a rallying call to make sure girls' needs are fully reflected in the United Nations' post-2015 development goals.

"The Girl Declaration is important because it is girls directly articulating their needs, their vision, their hopes and their dreams," says Susan Davis, president and CEO of BRAC USA. "It's a stake in the ground for girls to say, 'We're here, we're included and if you invest in us we will help you change the world.'"

The Girl Declaration was organized by The Girl Effect, which created the declaration through a participatory process, selecting 508 girls from 14 countries to formulate 17 targets in response to to the question, "What do girls need to have a chance to reach their potential?"

In honor of the presentation of the Girl Declaration to the United Nations on International Day of the Girl, October 11, BRAC produced a video featuring students at a BRAC school in Juba, South Sudan reading the Girl Declaration and chiming in with some of their individual dreams and aspirations for their future.

Along with BRAC, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Queen Rania of Jordan, Barbara Bush, Microsoft and the Intel Foundation are among the signatories of the declaration.

BRAC is world's largest Girl Effect implementing partner, featuring the largest private, secular school system, targeting mostly girl students, and also a growing network of 240,000 adolescent girls in seven countries that meet weekly in local clubs under the umbrella of BRAC's Girl Effect programming. Earlier this year, BRAC and the NoVo Foundation announced a new $5 million partnership to scale up BRAC's Girl Effect programs in South Sudan and Afghanistan.

BRAC is a development success story, spreading solutions born in Bangladesh to 10 other countries around the world – a global leader in creating opportunity for the world’s poor. What started out as a limited relief operation in 1972 in a remote village of Bangladesh has turned into the largest development organisation in the world. Organising the poor using communities’ own human and material resources, BRAC (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) catalyses lasting change, creating an ecosystem in which the poor have the chance to seize control of their own lives. We do this with a holistic development approach geared toward inclusion, using tools like microfinance, education, healthcare, legal services, community empowerment, social enterprises and BRAC University. Our work now touches the lives of an estimated 135 million people, with staff and BRAC-trained entrepreneurs numbering in the hundreds of thousands, a global movement bringing change to 11 countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. BRAC USA is an independent, US-based affiliate of BRAC formed in 2006 to advance and support BRAC's global mission to create opportunities to unleash human potential and end poverty.

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Scott MacMillan
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