Girls’ campaign hits big screen in Leeds Millennium Square

CANDID: Leah, 16, took part in Because I am a Girl.
CANDID: Leah, 16, took part in Because I am a Girl.
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A collection of candid photographs that show what it’s like to be a young girl living in Leeds is appearing on the big screen in Millennium Square.

The Because I am a Girl campaign highlights daily discrimination, harassment, abuse and expectations of how girls should look and behave.

The photographs were launched on International Women’s Day (March 8) and will be screened once every hour until the end of the month. The initiative comes from global children’s charity Plan International UK, working with Leeds charity Getaway Girls.

Plan International has talked to girls across the country, including five from Leeds, about what it is like to be a girl in the UK today.

One of the young women featured from the city is 16-year-old Leah, who has a one-year-old son called Riley.

She said: “I’d be pushing (Riley’s) pram down the street and I’d have people come up to me and say, like, ‘You shouldn’t have kids’; that I’m not going to succeed in life, that I’ve ruined my life. I just can’t wait to prove everyone wrong!”

Joyce Nicholls, the photographer behind the images, said: “I found no matter the distance in geography or the difference in background, many of the girls expressed similar frustrations with growing up as a girl in British society. Yet, I finished with a sense of hope. I met 60 young strong women who are - little by little - fighting the gender gap.”

Tanya Barron, the charity’s CEO, said: “These photographs offer a unique insight into the challenges girls face living in the UK, and we invite everyone in Leeds to go and see this exhibition for themselves.”

Visit www.plan-uk.org/ukgirls for more.

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