This week I have been reading lots of charity annual reports, specifically the ‘Because I am a Girl’ reports from Plan.
I didn’t know very much about the charity, but I had a read an article about their new advert, which involves some new creative technology. Basically, the advert is a computer which can recognise whether the person looking at is male or female, and then if they’re female they get to see the whole advert, whereas if they’re male then they see various facts and figures instead, highlighting the disparity of freedom and choice between girls and boys in much of the world.
I was intrigued, and I went looking for some more info, and kind of got sucked in.
Did you know…?
- Due to the growing practice of sex-selective abortions girls are being discriminated against before they’re even born. There are an estimated 100 million women ‘missing’ as a result.
- Every year 10.5 million children die before they reach the age of five. There is evidence that when families are under economic strain, girls will be fed less, and fed last.
- An estimated 140 women worldwide have undergone female genital cutting. 2 million girls are added to that number every year.
- 1 in 7 girls is married before the age of 15, some are married as young as 5 years old.
- 75 million girls are not in school.
- 150 million girls under the age of 18 have experienced rape, or some other kind of sexual assault.
- Half a million women die from pregnancy-related illnesses every year.
(Figures taken from Plan reports available here.)
I liked this quote from the ‘Because You’re A Girl: Growing up in the Commonwealth‘ report.
When we talk about gender equality we mean that women and men, girls and boys, enjoy the same status in society. This does not mean that men and women are the same, but rather that their similarities and differences are recognised and that their characteristics, qualities and aspirations are equally valued.
This focus on girls isn’t about wanting more for girls than we want for boys, but it is about seeing that currently, being a girl in some parts of the world means that you are going to be denied freedom, health, education, food, and often, life, just because you’re a girl.
And I’m not really happy about that.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
I believe that we were all made in the image of God, girls too. I’m looking forward to the new creation, where there’ll be no female foeticide, or malnutrition, or child brides, or rape, but I think in the meantime I should probably be doing something about the current situation that means that all of those statistics above are true. Any thoughts on what?
In summary; not that great being a girl, apparently.