We offer the following slideshow of girls we've met during our around the world travels in support of The Girl Effect, an organization whose goal is to promote awareness of girls’ issues around the world and to highlight the benefits of investing in girls as a means to poverty alleviation, better public health and community development.
The more we travel and see the world, the more I realize how fortunate I am. I grew up in a family that valued me as a female. They supported my education, encouraged me to pursue whatever profession I could possibly imagine and never pressured me to get married.
This favorable circumstance and social flexibility is still a rarity in many parts of the world.
Why Invest in Girls?
Investing in girls is not just about human rights and equality. Besides being “the right thing to do,” focusing on girls' education and health also offers huge practical knock-on effects for economic and social development. Girls who are able to remain in school longer are more likely to marry later in life and thus have fewer children, raise healthier families, contribute more economically to society, and pass the net benefits of all of this onto their own children. (Source: The Girl Effect Fact Sheet)
Take a look at the faces of some of the girls we’ve met along our journey. Imagine the potential if they all had opportunities for education, health protection and support from society (some of them have, some of them have not). Imagine the positive cycle reinforced as they invest in their own children in a similar way.
The future begins to look a little brighter, doesn’t it?
Photo Slideshow: Girls From Around the World
If you don’t have a high-speed connection or want to read the captions, you can view the Girls from Around the World photo essay.
Photos in the slideshow above from: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam
This post is part of the The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign taking place October 4-11, 2011. Share your own thoughts on the importance of investing in girls and The Girl Effect by participating here.