Monday, February 9, 2009

If you want India to be an economic powerhouse, then

give girls a chance…Economic policies alone will not do the job...When adolescent girls in developing countries have a chance, they can be the most powerful agents of change for themselves, their families, communities and nations…It is estimated that there are 600m adolescent girls in the developing world today, all of them invisible to their societies…Let them be seen,let them be heard

- 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.

- Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.

- 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.

- 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.

This is what happens when girls don’t get a chance

- One girl in seven in developing countries marries before age 15.

- 38 percent marry before age 18.

- One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year.

- A survey in India found that girls who married before age 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped, or threatened by their husbands, as were girls who married later.

- Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide. Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.

- 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female, up from 62 percent in 2001.
Every girl child in every country around the world has a right to an education, nutrition, and a safe home…Ensure these rights...

Save the girl child, save the economy,save the country...

(Thanks: The Girl Effect for the data...References available on the site)