THE GIRL EFFECT:
An Amazing Multifaced Global Effort
The Prospective on Cancer series will resume tomorrow. Today we break for the October 4 kick-off of The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign.
Last year when I participated in this blogging event, I focused on the plight of the girls. This year my focus is on the The Girl Effectproject. It is a stunning multifaceted effort that seeks to end poverty through understanding, documenting, and promoting the value, needs, and priorities of girls in developing countries. It forms a untied global collaboration of development partners for research and program design and delivery. It needs our support, not just as bloggers and writers, but also as workers, volunteers, and donors.
This project might sound to some like an effort with a bias, but it is really an effort to improve the social and economic fabric of families and communities by opening educational and economic opportunities to girls aged ten to twenty-four. Efforts are made toward removing barriers to family and economic stability, barriers like early pregnancy, school dropout, and HIV/AIDS. Girls are ultimately the backbone of their families and communities reinvesting ninety percent of what they earn in their families as opposed to boys’ reinvestment of sixty percent.
The studies that the development community have implemented and are sharing among partner agencies provide information we haven’t ever had before on girls in this age group in the developing nations. Their studies conclude with action items for governments and policy makers. Under the banner of The Girl Effect, the global community is united in assessing the cost to individuals, families, communities, and countries when girls live in poverty, are bared from education and proper health care, and suffer abuse.
The Girl Effect seeks support for efforts that address some things those of us in the developed nations take for granted: like being counted. When a child has no birth certificate and is not counted in any census, she has no identity and there is no way of knowing if programs that are in place are reaching her and helping her.
The Girl Effect partners seek to:
- acquire funding for programs and to track program outcomes;
- support, encourage, and provide opportunities for complete primary education and for secondary education;
- provide health care, wellness programs, and HIV/AIDS prevention programs;
- organize health-care delivery systems that are effective in reaching this demographic;
- provide economic empowerment for earning, saving, and building assets;
- ensure legislation that supports women’s rights;
- empower girls to advocate for themselves; and,
- mobilize nations, communities, and families, men and boys, to support the efforts of girls to protect and educate themselves and improve their lives and those of their families.
The programs that are offered by partners include education, legal help, micro-loans, and health care. Donations may be made through Global Giving.
© 2011, Jamie Dedes, all rights reserved. Posting or printing permitted by request only.
Photo credit ~ Girl Effect photo courtesy of Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
Video uploaded to YouTube by girleffect.