October 11 – International Day of the Girl

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to recognize the International Day of the Girl,” the first of which is to be held today, October 11, 2012.

So what does this mean?

What does it mean to be born a girl?

In the poorest regions of the world, girls are among the most disadvantaged people on the planet.

  • One billion people live in extreme poverty—70% are women and girls.
  • 67 million children worldwide don’t go to school, over half are girls.
  • One extra year of primary school can mean 10-20% higher wages for a girl.
  • When a girl in the developing world stays in school for seven or more years,
    she’ll marry later and have fewer, healthier children.
  • There are nearly 60 million child brides worldwide. Some as young as 12.
  • Girls who give birth before the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in
    childbirth than women in their twenties.
  • 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence and exploitation.
  • Nearly two-thirds of new HIV infections among youth 15 to 24 are in girls.
  • In a survey for the 2011 Girl Report, 43% of boys agreed with the statement:
    “There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten.”
  • And in the same survey, 60% of children interviewed in India agreed that if
    resources are scarce, it’s better to educate a boy than a girl.
  • $92 billion—that’s the estimated economic loss in countries that do not strive
    to educate girls to the same level as boys.

The International Day of the Girl is about “helping galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” (General Assembly Resolution 12.9.11).  The day is an opportunity to speak against injustices and to advocate for gender equality.  It will be marked on 11 October with a Virtual Summit involving girls from around the world at http://girlsrights.org.

If you’d like to make a real difference in the lives of little girls around the world by providing education and health care, support the 4 million girl promise at Because I Am a Girl   If your heart is burdened for children sold into the sex trade, support World Vision‘s incredible ministry to rescue these little ones.

You may feel that you are only one person, so what difference can you make?  When you give, your individual gift joins hands with the gifts of other individuals and you provide opportunity to truly change a life.

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