Please have a look at what is happening to girls around the world.Take a moment and compare their lives with yours.
In South Asia, girls can be aborted and after birth suffer from lack of proper medical care when sick for reasons such as “they are not expected to be income providers” or “dowry (marriage portion) could become a burden to the family.” It is therefore often more difficult for girls to survive until their 5th birthday than for boys.
In Pakistan, 94 girls out of 1,000 are not able to see their 5th birthday (85 for boys). *1
While boys go to school, girls handle household chores such as drawing water, preparing meals, and taking care of siblings. Therefore girls’ literacy and the completion of primary school education are lower than boys in many countries. At this period, girls in some countries also experience genital mutilation, which can cause higher risk of stillbirth later in their lives and thus seriously affect future generations.
In Ethiopia, literacy among women between age 15 and 24 is 39% (58 % for men).*2
Girls who are forced into marriage in their teenage years as a tradition not only fail to receive education but also risk their lives in early pregnancy and childbirth. During times of conflict some girls are kidnapped to become “soldiers’ wives” or caretakers. There is also the seemingly endless problem of human traffickers seducing girls with sweet talk and selling them into the sex industries or factories.
In Niger, 59 % of girls between age 15 and 19 are married (3% for boys). *2
Women tend to engage in non-income generating activities such as household labor, raising children and looking after the elderly. They also tend to be excluded from inheriting and possessing assets such as land and livestock - which weaken their rights to have opinions at home. Women also have a high risk of HIV infection for reasons such as entering sex industry for income while they have little information and knowledge about HIV and AIDS.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of those who are infected with HIV aged between 15 and 24 are girls.*3
*1 The State of World Population 2010
*2 The State of World’s Children 2012
*3 WHO,UNICEF,UNAIDS, PROGRESS REPORT 2011
Education for girls has the power to change the world.
“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family.”
(Dr.J.E.Kwegyir-Aggrey / Ghanaian educator)
Essential factors in development assistance are 'gender equality'and 'empowerment of women.
As the world faces various kinds of discrimination and inequality in the allocation of power based on gender, girls and women are becoming victims, especially in developing countries. However, these women are capable of choosing their own lives and changing their social, economical, and political situation through empowerment. Plan International believes gender equality and empowerment of women are essential in solving the issues of poverty in developing countries and making the world a place where not only girls but all children can make the most of their abilities.
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