5 wins for girls’ rights in 2014

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether it was in pop culture, sports or global politics, people around the world stood up for girls’ rights in a big way this year.

Here are 5 moments in 2014 that showed how the world’s coming together to support girls’ and women’s rights!

1. Malala accepts the Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai’s voice for girls’ education has been heard all over the world, igniting what we like to call The Malala Effect. We’re so excited that this teen advocate is now the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in history!

With close to 62 million girls missing from classrooms around the world, Malala’s campaign for every child’s right to education is one that Plan is proudly supporting.

2. Emma Watson calls on men to join the fight for gender equality

Emma Watson took to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly this year to call on men to join women in the fight for gender equality. The speech was part of her new role as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and the HeForShe campaign.

Emma spoke eloquently about being affected by gender norms, and then turned to the men in the audience:

“Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.”

3. Hashtags on social media sparked global conversations about girls’ and women’s rights

Bring back the missing Nigerian school girls.

#BringBackOurGirls, #LikeaGirl, #YesAllWomen and Because I am a Girl Canada’s #BrighterFuture hashtag campaigns are some of the many ways social media helped start conversations around the issues that girls and women face globally.

From girls’ education, to gender stereotypes, to violence against women, it’s promising to see how social media can help raise awareness.

4. Male celebrities show their support for gender equality

Actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Achieving gender equality means engaging boys and men too! So, we love that celebrities, like actor Terry Crews and comedian Aziz Ansari (to name a few) stepped forward in 2014 to share their support of girls’ and women’s rights.

One of the most notable moments was when actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt spoke out on the talk show Ellen, saying:

“It is worth paying attention to the roles that are dictated to us, and to realize that we don’t have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we want.”

5. Mo’ne Davis wins Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year

The 13-year old superstar Little League pitcher Mo’ne Davis knocked it out of the park this year. The teen caught the world’s attention when she became the first girl in history to throw a shutout during a Little League World Series.

Mo’ne is not the first girl to play in Little League Baseball, but she’s one of just a few. Out of thousands kids to play in Little League over the past 65 years, just 18 have been girls!

It’s not just Mo’ne’s gender that’s getting her recognition. Her pitching speed and her confidence have helped her win the Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year!

What DO YOU THINK was the most incredible thing that happened for girls’ rights in 2014?