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An interactive ad placed on Oxford Street uses facial recognition to determine the gender of the viewer. Girls and women who opt-in can watch the 40-second ad in its entirety. Men and boys are denied access to the full content and are instead directed to Plan UK’s website.

 

It’s all part of Plan UK’s efforts to highlight the plight of the world’s poorest girls and women. Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to help girls in developing countries to have more choices in their lives.

The Choices for Girls ad features 13 year-olds Jasmine from the UK, Sur from Thailand, and Bintou from Mali, each talking about their dreams while video from their lives plays on the screen. Lack of choice for girls in developing countries makes those dreams difficult to achieve.

Seventy-five million girls around the world are not allowed to go to school; 10 million underage girls face forced marriage; and each year thousands of young girls give birth before reaching adulthood themselves.

Plan UK’s CEO, Marie Staunton, says, “Millions of girls across the globe are being denied the right and choice to have an education. This ad is a deliberate attempt to raise public debate on this issue. Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign works with women and men, girls and boys, to challenge the discrimination that girls face as a result of their sex. We work to challenge negative stereotypes.”

The ad gives boys and men the chance to feel what it’s like to lack choice. Although males cannot access the interactive ad, Plan UK invites men and boys to join “the Plan” and support girls and women in developing countries to have more choice in their own lives.

“If girls like Bintou and Sur had the same choices as girls like Jasmine in the UK they’d be more likely to stay in school and have greater choice and opportunity in the future.”

The high-tech ad is a first for the UK, using facial recognition software with an HD camera, interactive advertising, and touch screen technology, and has a 90 percent accuracy rate. Passersby will be able to see the advert on Oxford Street for two weeks.

In an effort to help girls from poor families to gain access to education, Plan UK wants to raise £250,000 over the next several months. You can learn more about the campaign and view the advert at choicesforgirls.org.uk

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