Today is the second annual international Day of the Girl Child.
The focus of this year’s celebration is on education.
Despite the fact that girls make up nearly half the children in the world (the reasons why it’s not 1:1 are a post for another day), the balance isn’t reflected in education.
– Globally, there are 66 million girls who aren’t in education.
– There are 33 million fewer girls in primary education than boys in primary school.
– 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year; 38,000 today; 13 in the last 30 seconds.
– Girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to be married before they turn 18.
– A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to live past the age of 5.
– In some countries less than 1/3 of university students is a woman.
This is my niece, Holly.
She’s eleven, just started secondary school, and a total bookworm. Being a girl in this country is no picnic: the wage gap between men and women is still very much with us, 1 in 4 women in the UK will be a victim of domestic violence; and the stories I hear on a regular basis in my work about all sorts of other perils of being a girl in Britain in 2013 are enough to make me quick to argue with anyone who tells me that feminism isn’t still needed.
And yet, the reality of the situation is that, in comparison to many of her counterparts around the world, Holly (and her wee sisters, 9 year old, Sophie, and 4 year old, Lola) are unbelievably fortunate.
If Holly lived in a developing country the fact that she has already had seven years of education, and is still there, would put her in the minority, and out of her class at school, statistics tell us that at least two of the girls would be married in the next four years (if they weren’t already).
So, watch the video below, and go here to find out more about what you can do.
In summary: girls.