Education can be the single most important indicator of a girl’s capacity to obtain economic autonomy. It is also crucial in the fight in eradicating harmful traditional practices. In total, 130 million girls are out of school today. When civil conflict or war hits a community, the access and quality of education is compromised – and the first to be affected are girls.
Every girl has the right to be protected from violence, exploitation and abuse. Girls are uniquely vulnerable – especially those that make up the migrant, internally displaced and refugee populations. Up to 7 in 10 women experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
Gender-based violence can include, but is not limited to the areas we work on: child early and forced marriage, female genital cutting, and sexual exploitation in conflict regions. The important thing to understand about this is that gender discrimination is central to the perpetration of all forms of violence against girls.
Source: UN Statistics Division 2010
This is a top priority for us – because it is central to increasing the responsibility of engaging girls in their communities, in the eradication of poverty and taking on leadership roles.
When girls are given the tools and alternative skills to earn a living, they are in a position to provide for themselves. This makes it easier to go to school, access health care and ensure they don’t have to go to work to help support their families. Empowered girls have more freedom to shape their own lives. If that isn’t enough of a reason – women represent 40% of the global labor force and girls make up more than half of the world’s university students. Imagine if those skills were fully realized - the possibilities are endless.