TAKE ACTION – Sign a Petition
Do you want to make a difference to Women and Girls around the World?
Taking action by signing a petition can really make change happen.Petitions are a great way to get your views heard by Government, get Journalists to take notice or raise awareness about a certain issue. There are so many different petitions flying around, so with the help of our Programme Team we’ve selected a few which we feel are right for you to support.
In addition if you’d like to contact your local MP about any issues, you can search for their details here.
PETITION 1 – PROTECT RIGHTS OF VULNERABLE CHILDREN & CARE LEAVERS
Please don’t let councils be excused from their legal duties to vulnerable children and care leavers.
Parts of the Children and Social Work Bill allowed councils in England to be excused from their legal duties to provide for and protect vulnerable children and young people for up to six years. These protections have built up over 80 years and include many key laws passed by Parliament. They give vital rights to children living in their own families, including disabled children and young carers; children living in foster care, children’s homes, residential schools and custody; and young people leaving care.
On 8 November, the House of Lords voted to remove these parts of the Bill (the Government was defeated by 245 votes to 213). Our petition was mentioned twice in the debate. The Government then tabled amendments and used its majority in the House of Commons Committee to reinstate the clauses on 10 January.
The Committee had issued a call for evidence in December. 47 organisations and individuals submitted evidence; only one supported the clauses (44 opposed and 2 more expressed concern).
Seven parts of two Acts of Parliament were saved from opt-out in January (the Government selected these as ‘core legal duties’). However, this leaves at risk every other legal protection for vulnerable children and young people.
The Government says the exemption clauses will encourage innovation, but we fear the loss of essential services and support for children and care leavers by cash-strapped councils.
There has been no public consultation and no evidence produced by the Government to support its plan to offer up for abolition virtually every legal duty made for vulnerable children and care leavers since 1933.
PETITION 2 – END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION IN INDIA
Urge the Government to pass a law banning this practice in India, such that anyone found involved in aiding, abetting and perpetrating this practice should be punished. Pressure of this law and fear of punishment will be the best way to put a stop to this cruel practice.
PETITION 3 – IT’S MY RIGHT: SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EDUCATION
We’re living in an age where girls are under a lot of pressure. They are faced with negative messages about body image and struggling with issues such as online and sexual harassment in school.
Sex and relationship education (SRE) can help to address these issues. It looks at the emotional and social side of sex, relationships, consent, gender equality and sexuality.
Sex and relationships education doesn’t have mandatory status in the school curricula.
Right now, there is a Bill in parliament that could change this and MPs need to know that this is an important issue to the people they represent.
Please contact your MP today asking them to make age-appropriate SRE mandatory.
PETITION 4 – PM HASINA: LEAD THE WORLD ON CHILD MARRIAGE
With the stroke of her pen, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister can become a champion for millions of girls — or pass a law that could force girls to marry their rapists!
Bangladesh has made strides in passing progressive laws for women and girls. But a new law aimed at ending child marriage could include a ‘special circumstances’ clause where young girls may be forced to marry their rapists.
Local activists have just taken to the streets in protest and Parliament could pass the law any day now. Let’s call on the Prime Minister to drop the child rape loophole and speed up a national action plan to keep these girls safe. Add your name.
PETITION 5 – POVERTY IS SEXIST – 130 MILLION GIRLS ARE OUT OF SCHOOL
You wouldn’t be where you are today without an education – and it’s in your power RIGHT NOW to help these girls get access to an education.
If you care, ACT. Add your name to our letter, and we’ll deliver it in person to leaders all across the globe this International Women’s Day, March 8th.
PETITION 6 – UNITED AGAINST SLAVERY
Thousands of men, women and children are trafficked and forced into sexual slavery in conflicts across the world, from Nigeria to Syria. On 1 January, a new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres took office: as a seasoned human rights expert, he has the authority to help us tackle the scourge of slavery in conflict.
On 20 December, we reached a turning point: the fifteen UN Security Council members unanimously agreed to the first ever resolution calling on all UN member states to prevent, investigate and prosecute those perpetrators of trafficking and slavery in conflict situations. The UN is also urging for strong mechanisms to protect victims of trafficking in armed conflicts.
It is now time to call for the implementation of this resolution and for a dedicated UN representative on slavery in conflict to be appointed to help improve protection measures and bring about justice for thousands of survivors.
PETITION 7 – BAN THE SALE TO, AND POSSESSION BY, CIVILIANS OF COMBAT DAGGERS AND BAYONETS
These weapons’ sole function is to kill – it was a weapon like this that killed the Jo Cox MP – they can have no place in civilian ownership and yet are legally available to any UK adult. This is a legal loophole which could be easily closed.
PETITION 8 – GET SLAVERY ON THE COMMONWEALTH AGENDA
The Commonwealth is an organisation of 52 countries around the world and is home to 2.2 billion people. While a third of the world’s population are Commonwealth citizens, according to the Global Slavery Index a staggering 55% of those currently enslaved reside in Commonwealth countries. Leadership within and by the Commonwealth can therefore have a massive impact on significantly reducing slavery across the world.
PETITION UPDATE – PLAN INTERNATIONAL MALAWI CHILD BRIDES
A few weeks ago Plan International met Malawi’s Paramount Chiefs. The Chiefs are important local leaders, who have a lot of influence on local and national politics. Thankfully, the Chiefs supported their work, and have vowed to pave the way for parliament to amend the constitution. A bill will be presented to parliament soon and we hope to have good news for all girls across Malawi in the New Year.
This exciting development has also been backed up by another success. The Malawi government has just announced that the age of a child will be raised from 16 to 18. Before there was no definition of a child in the constitution, but now, with this definition, it brings us a step closer to achieving success and allowing children to be children – without being forced into marriage.
Thank you to all who have been part of this campaign so far.