Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Plan Ireland CEO, David Dalton, explained that millions of girls across the world are denied their right to education because culturally boys are considered more worthy and better earners. According to the report, failure to educate girls is putting them at risk and costing the world's poorest countries billions a year in lost income.
A major part of Plan's campaign is the annual publication of a report in the series "Because I Am A Girl: The State of the World's Girls". This year's report, "Girls in the Global Economy: Adding It All Up" presents a new analysis of the important role that girls and young women play in economic growth and the missed opportunities of failing to invest in their futures.
"Without education girls are very often confined to dangerous, unskilled work - neglecting their earning potential and slowing a country's recovery from the current financial crisis" said Mr. Dalton. "The recession has cost many Irish people their jobs and many more of us have experienced a drop in living standards, but in some countries it is costing people, especially girls, their lives. The global economic downturn means girls in the developing world are the first to lose their jobs, may end up in the sex trade and are more likely to die young. It has also undermined and reversed past progress made on girls' rights", he added.
Immediate impacts of the global recession identified in the report are:
. millions of young women employed in the informal and export-related sectors, are the first to lose their jobs
. remittances (money sent home by migrant workers) fall and migration decreases
. lending for microfinance and other projects is restricted
. more girls become involved in child labour
. girls are pulled out of education and into domestic and other work
. infant deaths increase - the majority of them, girls
. more girls and women are forced into the sex trade
Other challenges facing girls highlighted by Plan at the launch include;
. Sixty-two million girls are not in primary school.
. Over 900 million girls and women are living on less than a dollar a day.
. About 450 million women suffer from stunted growth as a result of being poorly fed in childhood.
. About 140 million girls have undergone female genital cutting and two million are subjected to it every year.
. More than 100 million girls under 18, some as young as 12, are expected to marry over the next decade.
Key speaker at Plan's Launch, Benedicta Attoh, who grew up in Nigeria spoke firsthand of her experience of child marriage, 'modern day slavery' as she termed it, and highlighted the fact that girls are still suffering. She cited the case of a 12-year-old Yemeni child-bride who died last week after struggling for three days in childbirth.
Ms. Attoh said: "For most young girls, the experience of a forced marriage is one of domestic violence, pain, frustration, anger resentment and even death. For some the wounds never heal, for others the scars never fade but for all survivors, the memories never die".
For More Information
Plan Ireland is asking people, particularly women and girls, around Ireland to support their campaign by sponsoring one of 500 girls in West Africa urgently in need of help or by raising funds for projects supporting girls living in the world's poorest countries. For more information call 1800 829 829 or visit www.plan.ie.
Did you know?
Because I am a Girl.
. I have the same rights as my brothers, yet I am discriminated against even before I am born.
. I and 68,000 teenage girls will die from unsafe abortions this year
. I and Sixty-two million other girls are not in primary school
. I and two million other girls will undergo female genital cutting this year.
. I and more than 100 million girls under 18, some as young as 12, are expected to marry over the next decade.
Across the world, girls face the double discrimination of their gender and age, leaving them suffering at the bottom of the social ladder. Girls are denied access to health services and education, and also face extremely high levels of violence, abuse, and harassment
Because I am a Girl is Plan Ireland's campaign to fight gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty.
Now you know - time to act!
1) Donate to a Plan's Girl Friendly School Project in Togo
2) Plan urgently need Sponsors for 500 girls in developing countries
3) Raise Funds and Awareness by holding A Girls Night In! (see below)
CALL 1800 829829
Text 'because' to 51444
GIRLS NIGHT IN
Arrange a Girls' Night In and join the fight for Girls' rights.
Imagine you were born in a country where your brothers were given more food than you. Imagine you were made to stay at home, while your brothers were educated at school. Now, imagine you were one of the 500,000 girls a year not born at all, because your mother lives in a country where girls are seen as a burden.
Arrange a Girls' Night In with your friends and help Plan's Because I am a Girl campaign break this cycle.
Simply invite your friends for dinner in return for a minimum donation - you choose how much. You could ask your friends to make a dish each, cook it all together, or treat them to a dinner lovingly prepared by yourself.
Plan will send you an email invitation to send your friends telling them the details of your Girls' Night In.
When you know how many people are coming register your Girls Night In with Plan for a chance to win a great prize. We'll also send you an information pack, which will include details of the campaign and the projects you're helping to support. And to thank you, we'll enter you into a prize draw to win a pampering prize.
Call 1800 829829
Text 'because' to 51444