I don't normally get into social issues in this blog, but I'd like to take a brief post to talk about something that means a great deal to me.
As a woman, I am very fortunate to have been blessed with an excellent education and the choices that my society has afforded me. As a blogger in a free country, I am able to speak my mind and share with you those things I find interesting and relevant, at least in my little corner of the world. I can wear what I want (especially on this blog), say what I want, and think what I want. And so today I will take a little departure from my usual vintage happenings and will join bloggers around the world to talk about choices – choices we have that many young girls and women do not.
I was free to go to college. I was free to choose my partner for life. I was free to choose to have children when I was ready. But that is not the case for girls in the developing world. The plight of millions of girls across the world has largely been ignored. But let’s take a look at some of the stats, shall we, courtesy of a little website I’d like to share with you – The Girl Effect.
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school raises her wages by 15 to 25 percent.
- However, approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.
- One girl in seven in developing countries marries before age 15; 38 percent marry before age 18.
- One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year.
- Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide. Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.
I had a son, but had I had a girl, or had I not been born in the country I was born in, our lives could have been drastically different. Maybe you have daughters. Can you imagine this life for them? Can you imagine what your life would be like had you been given the lack of choices these girls are?
So let the free-thinking, vintage-wearing, saucy women of today, and the men who love them, think for a bit about the plight of our younger sisters around the world. If you choose, join me and other bloggers for The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign, happening during this week of October 4th-11th, 2011. Let us be the voice of girls whose voices are silenced by the world around them and stand up for girls to get an education, stand on their own two feet and change the world around them.
And now back to your regularly scheduled vintage programming.
'Bye for Now,