The Girl Effect

I’ve been following The Girl Effect project for some time now, watching their good work for men and women in less fortunate situations, and raising awareness of their work in the world. On the 4th October 2011, bloggers from all around the world will join together to raise awareness of The Girl Effect by taking part in a blog campaign.

You can find out more about The Girl Effect here.

You can learn how to create a blog post for The Girl Effect here.

Quite simply, The Girl Effect works to enable girls who live in poverty to have a better life, where they can choose for themselves where they work, who they marry and how they are educated. For many of us these things are taken for granted in our everyday lives, but a large proportion of the world’s population of girls and women do not have a choice.

Little research has been done to understand how investments in girls impact economic growth and the health and well-being of communities. This lack of data reveals how pervasively girls have been overlooked. For
millions of girls across the developing world, there are no systems to record their birth, their citizenship, or even their identity. However, the existing research suggests their impact can reach much further than

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. (United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990.)

An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.(George Psacharopoulos and Harry Anthony Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881[Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2002].)

Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.(George T. Bicego and J. Ties Boerma, “Maternal Education and Child Survival: A Comparative Study of Survey Data from 17 Countries,” Social Science and Medicine 36 (9) [May 1993]:12 07–2 7. )

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. (Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World,” Yale News Daily 2003.)

Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.(Population Reference Bureau, DataFinder database, http://www.prb.org/datafinder.aspx [accessed December 20, 2007].)

More than one-quarter of the population in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa are girls and young women ages 10 to 24.(United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision,” http://esa.un.org/unpp, and “World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision,” www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WUP2005/2005WUP_DataTables1.pdf.)

The total global population of girls ages 10 to 24 — already the largest in history — is expected to peak in
the next decade.(Ruth Levine et al., Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda [Washington, D.C.: Center for Global Development, 2008].)

Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.(Cynthia B. Lloyd, ed., Growing Up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries [Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005].)

Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.(Human Rights Watch, “Promises Broken: An Assessment of Children’s Rights on the 10th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/promises/education.html [December 1999].)

Raise awareness of The Girl Effect today, and help women, and men, all over the world have better lives.