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The State of the World’s Girls 2010

Today’s the day!!

September 22nd  Is the culmination of a year’s work – we have all sweated blood, and sometimes tears, over our annual publication Because I am A Girl: The State of the World’s Girls which looks at the position of girls worldwide and demonstrates, to us at least, the value of feminism – there is a lot to do. 

Why in the 21st century are boys still valued more, fed more and when it comes to the crunch, in most parts of the world, will be kept in school, be paid more as they grow up and do far less of the world’s boring jobs both at home and at “work”. “It’s not fair” has become a mantra and we are often hard pressed to understand why not everyone is as up in arms as we are.

Did you know that in Asia 60 million girls are “missing” from the population because of sex selective abortions – though they are of course illegal – that pregnancy is a leading cause of death for young women between 15-19, and that nearly 50% of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls under 15. 

We could go on,  but there is another side of the story which the reports cover – girls worldwide succeeding against the odds, getting an education, supporting their families, running their own businesses and getting on with their lives.  Their stories are inspirational to those of us who have had it much easier so today, as this year’s report is launched on an unsuspecting world, we celebrate resilience and determination – and get on with next year’s work.  We also thank the people we have worked with – girls and young women from all over the world have contributed, so have colleagues worldwide and members of our advisory panel, academics, other NGOs, and supporters from all walks of life too numerous to name and praise.

This year we looked at “Girls in a Changing Landscape”, the impact on girls’ lives and chances, of the growth of urban living and new technology where benefits and risks live side by side in equal measure – will exploitation or opportunity win out? Next year we will examine the role of young men and boys in delivering genuine equality.

Check out the report, let us know what you think, what you do and whether the phrase “I am not a feminist but…” should be banned for ever?

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