Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Caring Causes: International Day of the Girl

Tomorrow, October 11, is the first ever International Day of the Girl. This day promotes awareness of the struggles particularly faced by girls in nations around the world. GirlUp has put together a great info kit detailing some of these challenges. As a woman myself, and a mother of two daughters, I cna't imagine how different our lives would be if we were in one of these countries.

Ethiopia - With this severe poverty many families can’t provide basic needs for their children, so many girls are forced to marry at very young ages often to much older men. Half the girls in Amhara marry before the age of 15. In these marriages, many of the girls are expected to start families right away. Pregnancies for these young girls are very dangerous many girls face disability or even death during childbirth. Girls in rural areas are expected to do water collection - and these girls spend, on average, four to six hours collecting water. The nearest water source is often far away sometimes more than 5 miles. And these girls don’t have cars or bikes – they do it all on foot. The time spent traveling for water is time taken away from school and studies. In Ethiopia, Girl Up works alongside the UN to help fund programs that provide opportunities for girls in low-income slums, as well as refugee girls who have fled from Somalia as a result of conflict and violence. These programs reach more than 16,000 girls. 

Liberia - The school systems here do not get much money from the government. No money for salaries or training means an increasing number of unqualified teachers. With the lack of income at home, girls are often forced to give up their education to work and provide for the family. Nearly half of females here have never attended school. Studies show that every year of schooling can increases a girl’s future income by 10 to 20%. Girls who receive an education marry later, have fewer children and are more likely to look for healthcare for themselves and their children. 

To learn more about what's facing girls around the world, visit - and visit to find out what steps you can take to support girls around the world.

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