Sarah Brown will join a host of successful women from across the UK at the London Eye as they celebrate the United Nation’s first International Day of the Girl.
The wife of the former prime minister, Gordon Brown, who with her husband is heavily involved in promoting education globally, is also a leading advocate for women’s health and has blogged on the subject for The Huffington Post.
She will be joined at the EDF London Eye on Thursday by T4 presenter Georgie O'Kell, fashion designer Katherine Hamnett, Team GB women's boxer Natasha Jonas, TV Presenter Fiona Phillips, and Coronation Street's Shobna Gulati.
The capital’s landmark building and other famous building across the world, including New York’s Empire State Building, the Niagara Falls, Toronto’s CN Tower and the Sony Centre in Berlin will be lit up in pink for the event after the UN adopted 11 October as the Day of the Girl following a campaign led by global children’s charity, Plan, and backed by activists from some of the world’s poorest communities.
In a statement on their website, the Browns said: “The first International Day of The Girl Child.. is a chance for us to focus on the rights of girls and draw attention to two major issues which affect their life chances – the lack of provision of girls’ education and the problem of child brides.”
The celebrations at the Eye are also the result of collaboration between Plan UK and the Southbank Centre, which runs the Women of the World Festival, an event designed to promote and celebrate women's achievements. The Southbank’s artistic director, Jude Kelly, described Thursday as an “important event”.
“I set up WOW – Women of the World festival in 2011 to celebrate women’s achievement and to look for solutions to the many inequalities that women still face globally,” Kelly said, adding: “International Day of the Girl will be our first girls-only WOW event giving hundreds of girls a voice and an opportunity to celebrate the power and potential of girls.”
Plan UK claims that one in three girls from around the world is denied an education due to poverty, discrimination and violence. As part of its "Because I am a Girl" campaign, Plan UK aims to provide 250,000 girls with education, choices, and support to help them out of poverty.
Marie Staunton, Plan UK’s chief executive, said: “Every day, young girls go missing from school, forced into marriage and put to work against their will. Not only is this unjust, it’s a huge waste of potential.”
Girls between the age of 11 and 18 will experience a range of activities at the Southbank, including spend mentoring, debates, talks, performances and workshops focused on the choices girls face in all areas of life, in the UK and abroad. Speakers will come from as far afield as Pakistan, Malawi and Sierra Leone.