There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a few facts:
- ILLITERACY – By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s (adult) population who cannot read. (PDF)
- SCHOOL DROPOUT – Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. (PDF)In America, the dropout rate is worse for boys but one in four girls does not finish high school, and the dropout rate is even higher for minorities. http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/when_girls_dont_graduate.pdf
- FORCED MARRIAGE – One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.
- VIOLENCE – In the US more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18. (PDF).One in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. Worldwide children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.
- BODY IMAGE – More than half (54%) of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight. More than half (57%) of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.
- Fortune 500 Companies Chief Executive Officers – Only 3% are women.
- Top Positions in Media (entertainment, advertising, telecommunications) – Only 3%
- Hollywood Top Filmmakers – Only 5%
- US Senate – Out of 100 Senators, only 17 are women
- US House of Representatives – Out of 435 lawmakers, only 90 are women (13 African American, 7 Latinas and 4 Asian Congresswomen)
- Governors – Only 6 states are run by women
- State Lawmakers – 1,740 women out of 7,382 legislators nationwide
- County Council & Executives – Barely 14% of about 18,000 officials
- School Superintendents – Only 24%, even though most teachers are female
- Mayors – Only 8 women run the largest 100 cities
In order to tackle the issues that directly impact girls lives, we have to identify them as barriers to our full participation in the world. Read our issue primers, written by girls who care about these issues and are committed to working toward solutions. Be sure to check out the opinion sections, where you can add your own comments!
- Negative Media Images by Anika, 19
- Title IX: Sports & Education Equity Guaranteed by Torie and Julia, both 16
- U.S. Girl Dropout Crisis by Mira, 20
- Relationship Abuse: Teen Dating & DomesticViolence by Joanne, 19
- Sex Trafficking in America by Shannon, 19
- Limited Work Opportunities by Joanne, 19
- Girls Denied EducationWorldwide by Shannon, 19
- Global Gender-Based Violence by Shannon, 19
- Child Marriage: Tragic Tradition by Mira, 20
- Female Mutilation: Human Rights Horror by Elena, 18