Year: 2011

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The Girl Child

The girl child. Why is she unique? In this year’s United Nations’ resolution on the Girl Child, the General Assembly, and thus, the international community has recognized, noted, and expressed their deep concern on issues of discrimination of the girl child. There are many issues at stake. Girls are more likely to be discriminated and abused. Girls are more likely to be forced into child marriage, leading to a greater risk of an early pregnancy and maternal death. Further, girls are less likely to attend school, complete an education, and the list continues. Girls’ Globe would like to highlight the existence of complete discrimination against girls. In some parts of the world girls are unwanted, undesired and seen as unnecessary. The effect is large-scale abortion of female fetuses and a systematic murder of female infants. “Noting with concern that in some parts of the world, men outnumber women as a result, in part, of harmful attitudes and practices, such as female genital mutilation, son preference, which results in female infanticide and prenatal sex selection…” Girls’ …

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More on the Girl Effect

Mobilizing the girl effect may seem easy. Give girls education Societies will prosper. However, it may not be so simple. There are several factors that play a part in shaping the health and well-being of girls and women. Although a girl is given a chance, she may meet a lot of resistance. I was playing with some data at genderinfo.org, the portal for the United Nations’ gender data. Looking at India, one can see that the literacy rate for girls aged 15-24 is quite high, 77 %. The expected years of schooling for girls in India is 13 years, so it is expected that most girls in India should at least finish high school. This, one may also think is quite high. However, looking at the percent of women aged 20-24 that were married or in union before the age of 18, is close to 50 %. Thus, close to half of these girls were married as children. The proportion of girls aged 15-19 that have already given birth is 12 %, which is also …

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Mobilize the Girl Effect

Girls in some parts of the world are seen as a burden. These girls are denied their basic human rights, to equal access to health care, education, mobility, freedom from violence and abuse. These girls are not able to choose their path in life, who they will marry or when they will have their first child. But, just like you and I, these girls have dreams. And these girls have the capabilities to drastically change their own lives and the lives of their families and others in their community. As long as someone is willing to break the vicious cycle. Through access to education, these girls have a greater chance of delaying their age at marriage and first pregnancy, thus, increasing their chances of living through pregnancy and childbirth dramatically. Given the chance, they can learn to earn an income, they can empower themselves and others and they can change the value of a girl. And most of all. These girls have a name. What if you were denied your dreams, just because you were …

Women for Peace

Tomorrow is the day of the Nobel Prize, and therefore Girls’ Globe would like to acknowledge the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who have been struggling to create change in their communities and to empower women to be agents of change for peace, democracy and human rights. These women inspire us to accept differences in each other, to meet people with harmony, to see the good in everyone and to be the change we want to see in our world. They inspire us with their dreams, their accomplishments, their goals and their struggle. Let us join these women in celebration and let us become global citizens and be a voice for women, peace, security and human rights. The interviews below are taken from Nobel Peace Center, and hopefully, they can inspire you as well. Interview with Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2011. Interview with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2011. Interview with Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2011.  

Why there needs to be a gender aspect in climate negotiations

When floods strike or droughts persist, women are among the first to feel the impacts on their livelihoods and daily lives. (UN Women, COP17) As the COP17 negotiations are undergoing in Durban, reaching its last day tomorrow, I thought it would be good to send a reminder of the importance of discussing climate change with a gender aspect. Women are demanding inclusion, reports show that women and children are more vulnerable when hit by a natural disaster. Women are at a greater risk of disease and violence, they have a heavy burden to secure the household livelihood, and are usually counted higher among deaths (UN Women). Those who work on climate change and those who work on reproductive health and rights have much in common and much to learn from each other. To paraphrase Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya, there is unlikely to be climate equity without gender equity. And as the world’s Governments noted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), there is unlikely to be gender equity until …

New Report @Guttmacher: “Benefits of Meeting Women’s Contraceptive Needs in Burkina Faso”

This new report, published by the Guttmacher Institute and l’Institue de Recherche des Sciences de la Santé and supported by the World Bank, shows us the benefits of investing in access to contraceptive supplies and services. The report studies the unmet need of contraception of Burkinabe women, and the societal and economic implications of meeting these needs. In Burkina Faso the maternal mortality ratio was estimated to be as high as 560 per 100,000 live births in 2008, which is much higher than the rest of the developing world (WHO, Trends in Maternal Mortality, 2010). WHO claims that the maternal mortality ratio represents the risk associated with each pregnancy, i.e. the obstetric risk. It is also a MDG indicator. Throughout society in Burkina Faso, from the poorest quintile to the richest, there is an unmet need of contraception, i.e. the majority of women in Burkina Faso have more children than they desire. This leads to a heavy burden on society linked with the implications of unintended pregnancies, through a sustained high rate of maternal mortality …

Call me HOPE

Call Me Hope. An inspiring video from mamahope.org and their Stop the Pity. Unlock the Potential Campaign. “At Mama Hope, we believe that the essential first step in changing the world is telling the story of connection instead of contrast and potential instead of poverty. People everywhere have talent and capacity, and people everywhere share a desire to be able to use those gifts to improve their lives and the lives of the people they care about.” – Check them out!

It’s a girl’s globe and a woman’s world. Or is it?

We live in a world of 7 billion. In this world, almost 1000 women die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth. This is without mentioning all the thousands of women who, every single day, become injured severely, leaving a physical, social and psychological impact in their lives and the lives of their families. One of these injuries, called Obstetric Fistula, is one of the most neglected public health problems of our time. In our world of 7 billion, babies are born every minute, and every minute abortions take place. Every year 20 million women have an unsafe abortion. Count to 480. A woman has died due to an unsafe abortion. In some parts of our world, prenatal sex selection is common, due to a preference for boys, leading to disproportionate sex ratios and a large deficit of girls and women in society. You may recognize these problems in your society, you may not. That is because these problems persist in some parts of the world, whereas a small part of the world may not …