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The Girl Effect


Girl Effect is a NPO founded in 2008.

The following are excerpts from an article published in Businessweek, 2009

‘Girl Effect’ Could Lift the Global Economy

There are 600 million adolescent girls in developing countries, but they are largely invisible to the world at large. Included among them are girls affected by armed conflict, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, and internal displacement, as well as girls in child-headed households or locked in early marriages. To ignore them is to miss the “girl effect,” which could be an unexpected answer to the global economic crisis.
When a girl benefits, so does everyone in society, including business. Girls as economic actors can bring about change for themselves, their families, and their countries. Conversely, ignoring the girl effect can cost societies billions in lost potential.

• When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later, on average, and has 2.2 fewer children.

• An extra year in primary school statistically boosts girls’ future wages by 10% to 20%, and every additional year a girl spends in secondary school lifts her income by 15% to 25%. The size of a country’s economy is in no small part determined by the educational attainment and skill sets of its girls.

• Young women have a 90% probability of investing their earned income back into their families, while the likelihood of men doing the same is only 30% to 40%.

• A girl’s school attainment is linked to her own health and well-being, as well as reduced death rates: For every additional year of schooling, a mother’s mortality is significantly reduced, and the infant mortality rate of her children declines by 5% to 10%.

• If educated, girls can get loans, start businesses, employ other women, and reinvest in their families—when they’re ready to have them. That means their children can also have an education.

Here’s why: When a girl benefits, so does everyone in society, including business. Girls as economic actors can bring about change for themselves, their families, and their countries. Conversely, ignoring the girl effect can cost societies billions in lost potential.
Girls and young women could be an important centerpiece of sustainable economic recovery—one that is worthy of innovative policy making on the part of business and governments alike. There are 600 million girls out there, after all. They just need to be seen, understood, and given a chance.

Sources:http://www.girleffect.org ( the video)
http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2009/gb2009048_644459.htm (the above text)

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