“Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights” -United Nations Resolution 66/170
Today, October 11, is the Day of the Girl, a day that just two years ago was declared by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere. Fast forward two years and the Day of the Girl has become a global movement of hope, inspiration and advocacy to better the lives of half our planet who is being left behind.
As girls, we experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a dozen (all are linked to their source. Just double click on statistic and you can read it in full):
- By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population. (PDF)
- Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. (PDF)
- Girls make up half of the high school population, but receive only 41% of all athletic participation opportunities.
- Women only hold 15.7% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.
- One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.
- More than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18. (PDF)
- 1 in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
- 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.
- 54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.
- 57% of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.
- Females continue to be underrepresented in top roles in film with less than 1 in 3 speaking characters in children’s movies.