I like girls. I was one once, and now I have one, age six and fabulous. I feel very protective of her, whether it’s making sure she has access to an excellent education and receives the same expectation and treatment as her older brother when it comes to academics, or making sure she receives equal pay for equal work, or making sure she’s safe from abuse and sexual exploitation.
I can’t get my head around the idea of living in a country in which I couldn’t protect her in those ways. Couldn’t provide her with an education. Couldn’t prevent her abuse or maltreatment. What if you were the mother of Malala Yousafzai? Malala, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl, was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen two days ago after speaking up in support of girls’ education.
Because today is International Day of the Girl, there are lots of people writing about issues important to the health, safety and prosperity of girls today — all of whom are among Babble’s Top 25 Social Media for Social Good parent bloggers, by the way — and I thought you might want to know what they’re saying:
A Little Girl’s Dreams by Fadra Nally at All Things Fadra – “We can plan and hope and even alter our future because we have one thing: CHOICE. We have a choice. We decided where and when and if we want to get married. And believe it or not, in this day and age, women all over the world don’t have this choice. They are forced to marry. Even worse? The same thing is happening for little girls.”
Have You Invested In A Girl? at The Mission List – “… when 10% more girls go to school, a nation’s GDP increases 3% on average (Council on Foreign Relations). And one extra year of primary school increases girls’ wages by 10-20% (World Bank). Children born to educated mothers are twice as likely to to survive past the age of five (Make it Right) and women who are educated are 50% more likely to immunize their children (UNGEI).”
Why Is It International Girls Day? by Chrysula Winegar at When You Wake Up A Mother – “It’s International Day of the Girl because Malala Yousufzai is in a critical condition after being shot on her way home from school by people who are frightened of girls learning to read and write.”
For Women Marriage Should Always Be A Choice by Debbie Bookstaber at Babble Voices – “1 in 9 girls, or 15 million, have been forced into marriage between the ages of 10-14.”
3 Organizations to Support On International Day of the Girl by Jennifer James at Babble Voices – “… 800 women die during childbirth every day. Maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls 15 years and younger according to the World Health Organization. Young girls have not had the opportunity to fully develop and therefore face a statistically higher risk of death while giving birth.”
Depression Is The Leading Cause of Disease Burden For Women Worldwide by yours truly at Postpartum Progress – “‘In fact, depression is the leading cause of disease burden for women in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries (WHO, 2008).’ Let me repeat that: Depression is the leading cause of disease burden for women. Not diabetes. Not hypertension. Not heart disease. Not chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.) Depression.”
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