If you want to change the world. Invest in a girl. The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats women. If it’s educating girls, if women have equals rights, that country is going to move forward. But if women are oppressed and abused and illiterate, then they’re going to fall behind. President Barack Obama
Join us in celebrating the first ever International Day of the Girl Child! October 11, 2012
There are 850 Million girls in the world
Some girls will follow a path that leads to opportunities
Yet too many girls will face major obstacles along the way, inadequate education, child marriage, early and frequent pregnancy, poverty, inadequate health care, human rights violations, gender-based violence, trafficking
62 million girls of primary school age do not attend school. In developing countries, girls' enrollment drops from 88% in primary school to 49% in secondary school
1 in 7 girls in developing countries marries before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as 8 or 9 years old.
25% to 50% of all girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18 and complication from early and frequent childbearing is a leading cause of death for girls ages 15 - 19.
1 and 3 women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their lifetime
These obstacles limit a girl's potential, perpetuating the cycle of poverty as she becomes a woman and a mother.
Investing in girls provides a path with opportunities instead of obstacles.
When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education she marries 4 years later, and has 2.2 fewer children.
One extra year of primary school boosts girls' eventual wages by 10 - 20%. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25%.'
Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.
Women's attitudes toward domestic violence change with education level.
Women tend to spend a higher fraction of the income under their control on goods and services that benefit their families.'
When you invest in 850 million girls, positive things happen.
Benefits to a girl multiply extending to her family, community, country, and future generations.
If you want to change the world, invest in a girl.
International Day of the Girl Child Quiz Transcript:
True or False?
This is the tenth year that the International Day of the Girl Child is being celebrated.
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child to be observed every year beginning in 2012. The action follows a multi-year campaign by activists in Canada and the United States. This day is an exciting opportunity to educate others on the status of girls and highlight the benefits to society from investing in girls.
Which of these statements is incorrect?
Research has found that child brides have higher rates of:
A. Enrollment in school.
B. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth.
C. Children born underweight and malnourished.
D. Sexually transmitted diseases.
Child marriage robs girls of opportunities for education, skills, and social networks that could empower them for a healthier life and improved outcomes for them and their children. Child brides are less likely to attend school and have access to income-generating opportunities. They are more likely to contract HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, infected by their husbands, who are generally older and have had prior sexual partners or are polygamous. Complications from early and frequent childbearing are a leading cause of death for girls ages 15-19.
- United Nations Children’s Fund, Equality, Development and Peace, www.unicef.org/publications/files/pub_equality_en.pdf [New York: UNICEF, 2000], 19.
- World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation, World Bank
- UNFPA : Giving Special Attention to Girls and Adolescents, http://www.unfpa.org/gender/girls.htm)
Nour, Nawal M. (2009) Child Marriage: A Silent Health and Human Rights Issue. In Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2(1): 51–56.
True or False?
Girls and boys spend about the same amount of time working to help their families.
Girls tend to work longer hours than boys. While boys are more likely to work for pay or for their families’ economic gain, girls are more likely to perform domestic chores or unpaid household work like caring for younger siblings. Although school attendance reduces total work demands, female students still work longer hours than male students.
- Ritchie, A., C.B. Lloyd, and M. Grant. 2004. “Gender Differences in Time Use Among Adolescents in Developing Countries: Implications of Rising School Enrollment Rates.” Policy Research Division Working Paper No. 193. New York: Population Council, Inc.
Providing girls with an extra year of schooling:
A. Reduces fertility rates by 10 percent
B. Reduces infant mortality by 5 to 10 percent.
C. Boosts GDP growth by 0.58 percentage points a year
D. All of the above.
Numerous studies show that the longer a girl stays in school, the better off she will be throughout her lifetime. A girl's education has far-reaching effects. A better educated female is also more likely to give birth to less and healthier children. And educating a female improves not just her and her family's well-being – it even affects the wealth of her community and country.
- Chaaban, Jad & Cunningham, Wendy (August 2011) Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls: The Girl Effect Dividend. (pdf, 1.6 mb) Policy Research Working Paper 5753. The World Bank. pp. 19-20 & 32.
- Tembon, Mercy and Fort, Lucia - Eds. (2008) Girls' Education in the 21st Century: Gender Equality, Empowerment, and Economic Growth. (pdf, 2.2 mb) The World Bank. pp. 58-59
UNESCO (2011) Education Counts - Towards the Millennium Development Goals (pdf, 584 kb)
True or False. The gender of a teacher or medical professional affects a girl’s education and health.
The presence of female teachers who can serve as role models is an important factor in girls’ success in school. Female teachers can also make classrooms seem like safer and more inviting places for girls and, in the process, encourage them to continue their education. Evidence also indicates that the outcomes are often better when health care providers are women. For health concerns that are uniquely female – those related to reproductive or sexual issues, pregnancy, and childbirth – it is common for a woman to prefer a caregiver who shares her experiences. Many women report higher levels of satisfaction with female health workers, who they see as more responsive to their and their children’s needs.
- UNESCO (2012) World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education (pdf, 9.2mb) p. 99
- State of the World’s Mothers, Save the Children, 2010
Last updated: October 24, 2012