The Clinton Global Initiative recently had a Plenary Session called Empowering Girls and Women . One of the four main goals of the entire conference was directed towards the status of women and specifically discussed women in developing countries. The Girl Effect is a movement to improve the lives of women in developing countries.
In order to get a real feel for the revolution watch the video here: The Girl Effect Video
The goal is to end the cycle of poverty for over 600 million girls at the age of 12. In the video, they focus on the age of 12 because that age is a turning point, when a girl can become a woman in society and start to enter motherhood early against her own wishes, or when a girl can go to school, stay in school, be free of disease and wait to have a family until she wants one.
Something that I thought was interesting about the movement was that it kept mentioning how these girls could have a family and get married when they wanted. I found it comforting that the movement embraced marriage and waiting until that time to have a family. I don’t know if it’s a direct link or not, but it’s still a large theme in the video and the movement.
Poverty in these developing countries creates awful statistics for the young women there:
-14 million girls aged 15 to19 give birth in developing countries each year.
-Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide.
-When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
-Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.
-Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.
-When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
If you’d like more information on the coalition for adolescent girls click here.
Events are happening around the country, online and around the world for the Girl Effect. What do you think about it? Is this a serious problem we need to address? Are boys also in trouble?