The Girl Effect: Girls Can Change the World

October 4, 2011 |

This week I’m participating in the 2011 Girl Effect Blogging Campaign. Click here to see the full list of participating blogs.

I first heard about the Girl Effect a few months ago from some women entrepreneurs who donate a portion of their profits to the organization. The organization has put together a series of powerful videos, and the accompanying stats really drive home the importance of their movement: for example, women and girls who earn income reinvest 90 percent of it back into their families, compared to only 30 or 40 percent for men. A girl with seven or more years of education marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. Providing education and income opportunities for girls and women allows them to stay healthier and raise the standard of living for their entire family. As I see it, girls can change the world—if we help them.

A few of the videos really impacted me, like this one from Kidan in Ethiopia.

I admire Kidan’s courage to share her dreams, and then feel so sad for her when I hear that she’s already engaged—but doesn’t know it. Her life will be just like her mother’s, with day after day full of endless work to maintain the household.

The story of Shumi from Bangladesh is more hopeful:

Shumi’s accomplishments strike a particular chord with me because she is sticking her neck out to live the life she wants to live, to find a way to be successful, and to help others in her community at the same time. It takes way more courage for her to live life on her own terms than it does for someone like me, and I admire her spirit.

I’m determined to be a part of this movement. I want to promote the Girl Effect so that girls all over the world become strong, healthy, educated women who can support and protect themselves—and do the same for their own daughters. As their website says, “If you want to end poverty and help the developing world, the best thing you can do is invest time, energy, and funding into adolescent girls.”

I’ve just taken the first step toward increasing the Girl Effect by donating to a program that teaches entrepreneurial skills to girls in India. I’d love to have you join me!

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