22 Facts about girls' rights  

Girls smile and toss apples

Getting ready for the Day of the Girl coming up on September 22, here are 22 facts for you to know about girls' rights! 

1. Over 500 million adolescent girls and young women live in the developing world.

Girl safety

2. 21% of girls age 15 to 19 around the world are already married.

3. Almost 50% of girls between 15 and 19 years old believe that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances.

4. 100,000 girls are child soldiers.

Girls at school

5. Each extra year of education increases a girl’s income by 10 to 20% and means she is more likely to have a smaller, healthier family and to start to break the cycle of poverty in which so many communities are trapped.

6. Girls' literacy rates are 13% less than boys worldwide.

7. 15% of girls worldwide can't read and write.

8. In Sub-saharan Africa, 33% of girls between 15 and 24 years old can't read and write!

9. Only 88% of school aged girls are enrolled in primary school - and only 77% actually attend on a regular basis.

10. Only 60% of all secondary school aged girls are enrolled at school.

Girls and poverty

11. A sixth of the world’s young people live on less than $2 a day, including 12 million girls in sub-Saharan Africa who live on less than $1 a day.

12. 27% of girls living in the least developed countries are involved in child labour.

13. Young women who are economically empowered in decent, secure work or successful small businesses, and who enjoy equal rights to property and land ownership, are better equipped to create a solid future for themselves, their families and communities.

14. An economically independent young woman has more power in the home to make decisions that affect the health and education of family members.

15. If girls could start successful business or get good jobs with decent pay, both countries and households would experience economic growth.

City girls

16. A girl is much more likely to go to school if she lives in a city – in developing countries school attendance for girls from 10 to 14 is 18% higher in urban than in rural areas, and 37% higher for young women between 15 and 19.

17. Girls who live in cities are less likely to be married at an early age – for example, in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 50% of young women in rural areas are married by the time they are 18, which is about twice the rate of young women in cities.

18. There are at least 100 million street children globally - approximately 30% of those are girls.

Girls' health

19. Half of all new HIV infections occur in people aged 15 to 24 - girls represent the majority of new infections in this group

20. 20% of women who are now 20-24 gave birth before age 18.

21. Girls have a longer life expectancy than boys - we live almost 10% longer as a group.

The next generation

22. Girls are the mothers of the next generation. Give a girl the skills and opportunities she needs in life and as a woman she will pass them on to her children..

If you want more facts, check out the Because I am a Girl reports. Stay tuned for the launch of this year's report on September 22. See you soon on the Day of the Girl! Which of these facts makes you want to want to DO SOMETHING about the Girl Issue?


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