On International Women’s Day, #GirlsCount !
Every day, 130 million girls around the world are denied the opportunity to go to school and get the education they need to realize their potential and prepare for a better future. Our world cannot afford to lose the talent and brains of half the human race. On International Women’s Day, join us in saying
Discrimination, sexist cultural norms, violence and conflict, poverty — these are some of the reasons why girls are denied access to a basic education. Humiliation, violence, lack of access to toilets, and teachers and parents who undermine confidence often lead to girls dropping out. The end of school means the end of dreams. Education does more than increase knowledge—it builds confidence, an understanding of one’s human rights, and the skills needed to improve the lives of entire families and communities.When school ends early, girls face greater risk of exploitation and abuse. But educated women lead better lives, raise healthier, more educated children and begin the process of ending poverty.
On International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to increasing gender equality, WomenStrong International joins the ONE Campaign ’s
GirlsCount movement to bring people and organizations together to advocate for girls who are no longer in school or those at risk of being forced out. The One Campaign says, “ Poverty is Sexist ” and asks the world to consider what it means to have 130 million girls around the world out of school. Even one girl out of school is one too many. Every girl counts!
In Borgne, Haiti, WomenStrong Consortium Member H.O.P.E. is helping 135 girls stay in school through support offered in Adolescent Girls’ Clubs. Adolescent girls in remote northern Haiti bear the brunt of domestic labor, are far less likely than boys to finish school, and often are placed in the homes of relatives or friends where, theoretically, they perform domestic labor in exchange for necessities and schooling. Instead, most are unable to stand up for themselves and are forced into servitude. Adolescent girls are badly in need of safe places to meet where they can make friends, build confidence and develop skills to help them get the education that will change their lives.
H.O.P.E. created these first Girls’ Clubs in northern Haiti over the last few months, borrowing innovative ideas from fellow Consortium members in Ghana and India which have longstanding, successful Girls’ Club programs reaching thousands of girls. Studies show that social networks help build resilience, helping girls deal with challenging life situations so they can overcome hardship and reach their potential. Girls’ Club help fill the gap of what is not taught in school: sexual and reproductive health education, leadership skills training, practice in goal-setting, communication and relationships, and more. The Clubs provide much-needed support that helps a girl complete her education and develop goals that can help change the world!
The Biggest Day of Action Ever: International Women’s Day!
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Join us in the count by signing this ONE Campaign petition going to all 100 U.S. Senators in support of girls’ education! Or make a [donation] to support our Girls’ Clubs and help a girl stay in school!