Portsmouth’s Keya calls for action on girls’ education

Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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A PORTSMOUTH teenager has made an inspiring speech about girls’ rights in front of hundreds of people in central London.

Keya Khandaker, 18, helped unveil a giant billboard in Trafalgar Square for a global children’s charity to mark International Day of the Girl, which was on Friday.

The billboard showed a picture of girls at work, which was gradually rubbed out by members of the public, to reveal a picture of girls at school.

Keya, pictured, who is a member of Plan UK’s youth advisory panel, gave one of the opening speeches at the launch.

‘Young girls are among the most marginalised groups of people in the world,’ said Keya.

‘Many are denied an education and are subject to abuse. Some will never get the opportunity to have their voice heard and that’s why it is important to remember the necessity of this day.

‘It enables us to open up a dialogue amongst young people about the issues facing girls and empowering young people to do something about it.’

She was also involved in welcoming more than 100 schoolgirls to the billboard in Trafalgar Square after they completed a walk to mark the day.

Tanya Barron, chief executive of Plan UK, said: ‘We want to engage as many people as we can in our campaign for girls’ education. With an education and the right support, girls can be a powerful force for change.’