It is overwhelmingly clear that the answer to better futures for marginalized girls around the world is access to education. Access means everything from whether or not a school is available where a girl lives, to cultural ideas about educating girls, to available income to pay for tuition, uniforms and supplies, to safe and reliable transportation. It is also becoming clear that access to education can create positive changes in the life of a girl now, today, not just in the future.
But, there are places in the world where a girl's attempts to get an education can be very, very dangerous. We have all heard about the 200 girls kidnapped in Nigeria for going to school and the story of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan being shot for speaking out about the importance of educating girls.
Below are 10 pretty shocking facts about the status of girl's lives and access to education around the world today as compiled by the Girl Rising Organization:
1. There are 32 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.
2. 65 million girls are out of school globally.
3. 31 million of those are of primary school age.
4. 34 million of them are adolescents of secondary school age
5. 14 million girls under age 18, some under 10, will be married this year. That's 38 thousand today, or 13 while you have been reading this for the last 30 seconds.
6. In a single year an estimated 150 million girls were victims of sexual violence.
7. Half of those victims were girls under age 15.
8. In the developing world, the #1 leading cause of death for girls age 15 to 19 is childbirth.
9. 792 million adults in the world cannot read or write, two-thirds (almost 523 million) are female.
10. Nigeria, Pakistan and Ethiopia alone have 9.9 million girls out of school.
The movie Girl Rising is a powerful look into the lives of girls around the world who are working very hard to get an education. It is an amazing opportunity to see the world from the eyes of girls in different countries around the globe. The specifics of each girl's circumstances and story are different but there are so many similariities. Screenings of girl rising are still happening around the country and there are opportunities to sponsor a public screening. Buy The Change was proud to partner with Sapphire Soul to bring the movie to the Detroit area last year.
At Buy The Change we look at the overwhelming issues facing women and girls around the world and understand our power to create change is a "from the bottom up" proposition. We cannot change the plight of millions of girls, but we can create change for a handful, and that matters. Through the sale of woman made products, we are putting essential income directly into the hands of mothers from 10 developing countries. We know the best way to keep a girl safe and in school is to give her mother an income.
When you shop at Buy The Change and join us on our journey of creating positive change, you become part of our growing movement to change the world, one bag, blanket and piece of jewelry at a time.
Please leave a comment about your thoughts and reactions to the 10 facts stated above. Do you believe in the concept of changing the world one person at a time? If you enjoyed this post please share it.
Please join us on our journey. Learn more about Buy The Change, view our fairly traded, woman made products and become a changemaker by visiting www.buythechangeusa.org