TECH

Charity, Plan UK, Launch 'Face Up' App To Promote Girls Gender Rights

03/10/2014 14:06 BST | Updated 03/10/2014 14:59 BST
Plan UK - www.plan-uk.org/faceup

A new app called 'Face Up' has been launched to fight against female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual violence and child marriage.

It works by users downloading an image of their face within the app which becomes digitally imprinted with the words "I'm putting girl rights where they can't be ignored". Once the photo is uploaded, the photo is added to the #FaceUP album.

Here, your photo sits side by side the hundreds of other supporters.

A Supporter of #FaceUp

A Supporter of #FaceUp

It is part of the wider campaign by Plan UK, 'Because I Am A Girl', which fights specifically for women's rights in the Global South.

Despite the app only being launched on the 30th September, it is already being backed by a number of celebrities including Game of Thrones stars Natalie Dormer and Lena Headey. The singer, Beverley Knight, is also involved.

Lena, known as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones said: “It fills me with hope that someday soon girls can grow up on a world that is free from these harmful practices"

“I urge everyone – men, boys, women and girls – to join me in standing up for girls’ rights’ with Plan UK.”

Her co-star, Natalie added: “I believe we all have a part to play in the fight to end abuses like FGM and child marriage. It’s a powerful stance that we’re all taking, and by uniting together we can help keep millions of girls safe from harm.”

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Natalie Dormer campaigning for Face Up

Speaking to Marie-Claire, Beverley Knight spoke of the importance of the campaign:

She said: 'I am shocked and saddened to know that millions of girls across the globe undergo FGM or are forced into marriage. Plan UK is working hard to end these harmful practices, but the stories of these girls just aren't being heard. This campaign is vitally important.'

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Beverley Knight campaigning for Face Up

According to the UN, over 300 million girls are at risk of being cut for FGM. The practice has been found in 29 countries but with very high numbers occurring in Africa from the Atlantic Coast to the Horn of Africa.

Unicef state that among women aged 20 - 24 worldwide, 1 in 3 were child brides. 1 in 3 girls will also be married before the age of 18. 1 in 9 will be married before their 15th birthday.

The launch of the app closely coincides with International Day of The Girl. An annual summit on 11th October promoting girl's human rights and persistent gender inequalities found all over the world.

It also comes at a key time as the fourth feminist wave has started to gather significant momentum. Emma Watson's speech and her campaign #HeforShe highlights the importance of including men in fighting for gender equality.

The power of social media campaigns has already been seen this year. Remember #bringbackourgirls? The campaign about the search for the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. As Malala Yousafzai says:

"If we remain silent than this will spread; this will happen more and more".

It is time to #FaceUp to women's rights.

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