October 11th, 2012 was the first International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.
There are 250 million girls living poverty in the developing world. By giving girls greater choice and control over the decisions that affect them, we can help to break the cycle of poverty between one generation and the next.
The focus of the first International Day of the Girl is child marriage. Every three seconds a girl in the poorest part of the world is forced to marry against her will.
We know educated girls are more likely to marry later, be able to choose when and how many children they have and earn higher incomes. Over the last year British aid has supported over 2.5 million girls in primary school and 260,000 girls in secondary school to help them fulfil their potential.
Commenting on International Day of the Girl Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
“Development matters most to girls and women.
“It is girls and women who die in childbirth because they don’t have the medical care they need.
“It is women who bear the brunt of stagnant economies, losing out on work opportunities first.
“And it is women who struggle for an equal voice and participation in too many societies and governments.”
The terrifying world of child brides: Devastating images show girls young enough to be in pre-school who are married off to older men.
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