All posts tagged: adolescent girls

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Mental Health: The Health Crisis of Our Time

Suicide is now the leading cause of death in girls aged 15-19 worldwide, surpassing death by childbirth. Differing from other diseases more common in older individuals, mental illness truly is the chronic disease of the young, with 75% being diagnosed before age 24. While other generations faced health concerns of cancer or HIV/AIDS, our biggest challenge will be beginning a mental health revolution. One in four worldwide will have a mental health issue, approximately 450 million people. If you are not 1 of those 4, you likely know someone who is. For many, like advocate and associate Lian Zeitz from The Global Development Incubator, the mental health system has failed them and didn’t provide care that worked. For others, the system has failed them because there is no option for access. This is especially true for many young people worldwide caught in refugee crisis or facing humanitarian needs. In places like South Sudan, there is only 1 psychologist to serve all of South Sudan, a country continually rattled by ongoing civil war, so services are tremendously …

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HIV/AIDS Prevention Starts with Combating Gender Inequality

Written by: Hayley Trinh, Communications and Development Intern, Education for Equality International Since the first known case of HIV in India was diagnosed in 1986, the number of people infected with the virus has continued to grow. According the most recent UNAIDS Gap Report, India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world, with 2.1 million Indians accounting for four of every 10 people infected in Asia. Rajasthan, where EEI’s girls’ education and empowerment efforts are currently focused, is considered a low prevalence state by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), but the population is considered highly vulnerable because of its high percentage of migrant labor. People from Rajasthan migrate to high prevalence states like Maharashtra and Gujarat and return with the disease. Rajasthan also accounts for 19% of all mines in India, employing over 500,000 workers, many of them are from other states. The situation in the state has become critical due to increase of traffic on national highways, tourists, and laborers coming in search for jobs. Due to its large …

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To Teenage Girls: Compliments Are Good For You

Caitlin Moran writes a column in the Times Magazine every Saturday and very often I buy the paper so that I can read it, and every week that I read it I enjoy it, because Caitlin Moran is A Very Good Writer. Last weekend I was reading it in a café, when all of a sudden tears choked me. Then they poured silently down my cheeks, which made those around me start edging their chairs sideways a bit. The column – addressed to under-confident, compliment-dodging teenage girls – was so accurate, so completely spot on, that I couldn’t take my eyes or my mind off the words. From the grand and wise perch that is 24-years-old, I think about my teenage self the way you might think of an old friend you have gradually drifted apart from, but remain very fond of all the same. When I think of her, I mainly laugh at her, because she wore exceptionally large quantities of eyeliner that made her look a bit like a raccoon. I roll my (more …

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Boys in the GIRL4ce Movement

Written By: Sarah Otto, Help Lesotho Intern 2016 The International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme for 2016, #PledgeForParity, means that, “Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step in achieving gender parity more quickly.” It is important to note that the IWD campaign highlights both men and women when they speak of taking the pledge, because gender equity will take the investment of both genders for it to become a reality. As an intern with the Canadian organization , Help Lesotho, in Lesotho, one of the first projects I experienced was the ‘GIRL4ce Movement (ie. Girl-force). The GIRL4ce Movement is doing its part in the fight for gender equity by engaging girls, boys, women and men on the issues of child, early and forced marriages (CEFM), girls’ rights, and sexual and gender-based violence. The GIRL4ce Movement empowers communities to address these issues by bringing awareness to the laws that affect CEFM so that community members can become advocates for themselves, and for girls and women. In Lesotho, CEFM is still a common practice and …

Photo Credit: Russel Watkins, Department for International Development

Girls: The Missing Reality of the European Refugee Crisis

This post was written by Irene Diaz Soto of Child and Youth Finance International and Kathryn Paik of the Women’s Refugee Commission on behalf of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls.  Among the hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking safety in Europe, adolescent girls are all but invisible. We know they are there, but current policy discussions and relief efforts do not include them. This is not new. In humanitarian response, adolescent girls, if they are considered at all, are usually lumped together either with women or with children, despite their unique needs and experiences that differ vast­ly from those of women or children. Adolescent girls are at heightened risk of abuse, exploitation, poverty, and discrimination. When they are displaced or resettled, they face threats that compromise their bodies, their rights, and their development. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, aid groups, and various governments are calling on world leaders to offer safe haven to more Syrian refugees, it’s essential that they include this vulnerable group. Members of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (CAG), a global …

Photo Credit: Help Lesotho

Girls’ Camp: Creating the Leaders of Tomorrow

By Stephanie Vizi Seventy-five grade seven girls from across Lesotho gathered at Help Lesotho’s Hlotse Centre for a week-long leadership camp last June. The girls took part in life skills trainings, which focused on preventing teenage pregnancy, rape and HIV/AIDS. Help Lesotho staff facilitated sessions on the most critical issues facing young girls in Lesotho, such as rape, the lure of sugar daddies (rich older men who lavish gifts on a young woman in return for her company or sexual favours) and gender inequality. After days of trainings, the girls demonstrated their new knowledge through self-written skits, poetry and songs. They showed the consequences of inappropriate sexual relationships (STIs, HIV and early pregnancy) while exuding confidence and a newfound sense of purpose to spread the lessons of gender equality to girls back home in their villages. A daily question and answer period provided a chance for the girls to ask pressing questions anonymously to seasoned Help Lesotho experts. Spreading the Message A 24-year-old HIV-positive mother was invited to share about her experience with gender-based violence, …

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SDG 1: What Does Poverty Mean to Women and Girls?

The first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 1) in the series of 17 goals is to End Poverty in all its forms everywhere. There are seven targets under this goal which vary in focus including reducing poverty by half among men, women and children as well as ensuring more resources are mobilized to aid in poverty reduction. The goal focuses on the need to create sound policies at a local, national and international level which are based on pro-poor and gender sensitive strategies. Does this sounds like Greek to you? I am a international development professional and reading this first goal sounds like I am reading a different language. Sure, ending poverty in all its forms sounds like an incredible goal. Perhaps, an incredibly lofty goal? What does ending poverty really mean? When thinking about the reality of how to work towards this goal there is one key question we need to answer: What does poverty mean to women and girls? Throughout my time working with women and girls this question has surfaced numerous times.  Poverty as it is defined …

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Girl Power: 2015 International Day of the Girl

October 11th, International Day of the Girl, is a perfect opportunity to celebrate all the girls you know.  Tell them how strong they are.  Tell them how important and powerful they are.  Tell them they can do anything they choose.  Tell them how important their education is for their future.  Celebrate all the girls! Empower Girls Education empowers girls. When we invest in girls, we create a healthier, more prosperous future for everyone. Girls’ education bolsters their dignity, saves mother’s and children’s lives, and improves the socio-economic status of the entire world! At this very moment, there are 600 million adolescent girls around the world. That’s 600 million opportunities to improve human rights, spur economic growth, and improve the social development of families, communities, and countries for decades to come. Let’s empower girls! Mobilize Girls Today’s adolescent girls are the next generation of leaders in the world. We know that technology creates endless opportunities.  Cell phone technology is now reaching even the most remote parts of the world.  Yet, there’s a gender gap as girls still have …

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We’re The Stories We Tell : Why We Raise Girls Voices.

“Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with, “secondly.” Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.”                      – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The Danger Of A Single Story” We’ve heard it so much we’ve become numb to it. Raise girls’ voices. Girls’ voices must be heard. Stop silencing girls. F or many not working in the field of women’s rights, those words have started to ring hollow, especially in countries where Hilary Clinton commands the attention of thousands at …