Tag Archives: International day of the girl

Happy International Day of the Girl!

11 Oct

IDOTG pic
As you celebrate the International Day of the Girl, here are some facts about African girls to ponder! Don’t forget to make 3 people in your life aware of these issues and what they can do to help empower girls.

• Discrimination in the home is entrenched along gender roles where boys and girls internalize the gender responsibility they should play. On average, a normal working day for an African girl is between 20 to 30 hours a week.

• Approximately 140 million girls have undergone FGM and 2 million are subjected to it every year with a higher tendency of performing FGM on younger and younger girls. It is performed on infants and adult women but mostly on girls between the age of 4 and 12. The highest prevalence of FGM is found in Africa where 28 African countries practice it.

• Early marriage is most common in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Forty four percent of 20-24 year old women in West Africa were married under the age of 15 and all decisions on timing of marriage and spouse was made by fathers.

• It is often the responsibility of girls and young women to fetch water often from long distances. A study in Kenya identified that women and girls carry from 20-25 litres over 3.5 km for one or two hours daily.

• In many African countries, poverty and cultural practices often mean that it is traditional for boys and men to eat first and girls to eat leftovers. When food is scarce this can often mean females have very little to eat or nothing at all. Malnutrition will often mean that girls are anaemic which can lead to problems during pregnancy, maternal death, exhaustion and loss of productivity.

• An estimated 7.3 million young women are living with HIV/AIDS compared to 4.5million men and in Sub-Saharan Africa, 59 % of people living with the HIV virus are women.

• A young person under 15 is said to contract AIDS every 15 seconds.

• West and Central Africa accounts for the highest percentage of both girls and boys involved in child labour. This is followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa.

• Approximately 1.2 million children every year are victims of trafficking internationally and within local borders.

• 80% of trafficked children are girls.

• 90% of children trafficked from West and Central Africa are girls who work as domestic workers.

• Every year 1000 girls between 14 and 24 are taken from Mozambique to work as sex workers in South Africa.

• Rape has been used as a weapon of war against millions of girls and women caught up in conflict. In Rwanda 1992-1995, it is estimated that half a million women were raped during the genocide and 67% were subsequently infected with HIV. In Sierra Leone young girls were particularly singled out for rape. Many did not survive and approximately 70 to 90% contracted HIV.

Sourcce:
Plan International
Unicef

We live in this world

29 Sep

did you know

Did you know?

• 100 million girls are missing due to female infanticide.

• 62 million girls of primary school age are out of school.

• 20 to 50% of girls have experienced sexual abuse from a family member.

• Every 3 seconds, a girl under 18 is forced or coerced to marry.

• Every year, 10 million girls under 18 are forced or coerced into marriage. 1 in 7 marries before they reach the age of 15.

• 1.2 million children are trafficked each year and 98% of those forced into commercial sexual exploitation are girls.

• The leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 in developing countries is pregnancy.

• 36% of girls aged 15 – 19 in Africa and the Middle East have experienced female genital mutilation.

• By 2014, 64% of the world’s illiterate population will be female.

This is why your voice matters!

Girls’ rights are human rights

28 Sep

IDOTG picFollowing a two year campaign led by international NGO, Plan International, the United Nations declared October 11, 2012 the very first International Day of the Girl Child. This year will mark the second celebration of the day on Friday 11 October.

The International Day of the Girl is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys. Girls today still face unique challenges, that prevent them from realising their full potential, simply because of their gender.

As we count down to October 11, we’ll be running feature articles highlighting some of the challenges faced by girls around the world. On October 11, we ask you to commit to spreading the word to at least 3 people in your life who may not be aware of these injustices. Together we can help make a difference!

We leave you with the words of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage girl who made headlines last year when the Taliban shot her for advocating for girls’ right to education, “I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard”.

Photo credit:airwaves1

Three quarters of African girls are out of school

12 Oct

On 11 October as the world celebrated the very first International Day of the Girl Child, I had the privilege of speaking at an event to highlight the struggles of girls around the world and advocate for greater empowerment.

I spoke about my passion for ensuring that all children, particularly girls, have access to an education.

Reviewing general statistics about girls globally, I was saddened that Africa still features so prominently amongst regions where girls struggle the most for their basic rights.

That should make all of us even more determined to do whatever we can to make the world a better place for African girls.

Some Key Statistics

On girls globally:

  • 75 million girls do not attend school
  • 100 million girls are engaged in child labour
  • Girls under 16 are the victims of 50 per cent of sexual assaults worldwide
  • More than 60 million girls are forced into marriage each year, many to men twice their age or older
  • Pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls in developing countries between the ages of 15 and 19

On African girls:

  • In sub-saharan Africa, almost three-quarters of girls are out of school, compared to only two-thirds of boys.
  • African girls aged 15-24 are 8 times more likely than men to be HIV positive.
  • Each year about 16 million girls aged 15-19 years old around the world give birth, with most living in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the second highest rate of early and forced marriage. 14.3 million girls in the region are married before they reach 18. Among the countries where the rate of early and forced marriage exceeds 70 per cent – Niger, Chad and Mali – adolescent fertility and maternal mortality rates are also high.
  • In African countries where the legal age of marriage differs by sex, the age for women is always lower. In Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the legal age of marriage is 18 for males and only 15 for females.