Today we celebrate girls.
Throughout history, women all over the world have risked their lives again and again to have the same rights as men, and to give generations of young women to follow a better life. Today, women run million dollar companies, lead countries and make world-changing decisions.
We’ve come a long way…but in many parts of the world there is still so much progress to be made.
- By age 18, girls have received an average of 4.4 years less education than boys.
- World-wide of the more than 130 million primary school age children not enrolled in school, nearly 60% are girls.
- By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s (adult) population who cannot read.
- One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.
- In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls have HIV rates up to five times higher than adolescent boys.
- Pregnancies and childbirth-related health problems take the lives of nearly 146,000 teenage girls each year.
- An estimated 450 million adult women in developing countries are stunted, a direct result of malnutrition in early life.
- Two million girls and women are subjected to female genital mutilation every year.
- One in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
- Worldwide children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes.
- Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.
- At least one in three girls and women worldwide has been beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime.
- In the US more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18.
- More than half (54%) of 3rd – 5th grade girls worry about their appearance
- 37% worry about their weight
- More than half (57%) of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.
Despite all this we are optimistic. We see fabulous organisations out there doing wonderful work for girls around the world and are constantly encouraged, both by their efforts and by the inspiring women who lead them. Organisations like:
And other extraordinary women around the globe working tirelessly to make the world a better place.
What will YOU do today for women and girls?