These awesome people at Girl Effect have a lot of info that is worth checking out. Here are some of the facts highlighting why Malala's efforts are so important:
- One girl in seven in developing countries marries before age 15. And 38 percent marry before age 18.
- One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18.
- A survey in India found that girls who married before age 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped, or threatened by their husbands as were girls who married later.
- Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide. Worldwide girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth compared with women ages 20 to 24, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely.
- Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school. Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.
- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
- One extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. One extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
- Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between higher levels of schooling among mothers and better infant and child health.
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
All the reference for are on the fact-sheet here. Most of the statistics and facts are evidence of an overwhelming problem. But there is an incredibly bright side to the issue as well. Brilliant girls like Malala and Suborna are great examples. (Check out her story over on World Vision's site, because it makes me happy)
These girls radiate brilliance, beauty, and incredibly bravery. Happy Girl's Day to you.