Friday, May 2, 2014

Poverty and Girls!

For personal and business purposes I have been studying  and reading a lot of articles on poverty; both in Canada and all over the world. Of the one billion people,  living in extreme poverty, did you know that 70% of them are women and girls. Women are usually responsible for most of the hard work like- harvesting land, grinding grain, carrying water and cooking for the family and as we know carrying out these household tasks is a job in itself and makes them less likely to work for a paid wage. Many of these women have lost their working partners or husbands and as a result, their families are at great risk of becoming poorer. It's very disturbing and therefore their children are less likely to be educated and healthy

The sad part is, extreme poverty affects girls way more than it affects boys. Like as if we didn't already have it harder than them huh??... It becomes very hard for families living in poverty to send their daughters to school. I read an article yesterday that stated that in many countries men and boys eat before women and girls. This explains why girls are three times more malnourished than boys.

It is so amazing to see so many organizations investing in girls programs and education. Investing in them is one of the most effective way to break the cycle. I know first hand- when we are educated as girls, we grow up to much more confident.
Check out these facts:

•  For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25%

•  If 10% more girls attend school, a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) – a standard of living indicator –        increases by an average of 3%
•  Educated women are more likely to raise healthier, better educated children. This, in turn, will raise the economic status of the entire country!

•  When women own their property and generate income from it, they have more power within their households and communities. This power may make them less vulnerable to gender-based discrimination and violence

•  When household income is managed by a woman, it is more likely to be used for children’s education, food,      and health care.

You and I can work together to make a difference one step at a time. It takes a village to make a difference- remember? There are a lot of governments, organizations and institutions working to help people around the world overcome poverty. Volunteer your time- to make a difference. Big things happen because of volunteers all over the world. We are the core of change in most organizations.

What exactly is poverty? Plus more facts:

Poverty: The state of a person or community having little or no money, goods, or means of support, and being unable to enjoy the minimum standards of life.

Cycle of Poverty: Poverty is passed from one generation to the next. Poverty begins in childhood when babies are born into poor families. These children then grow into adults who have children of their own, and often these children are born into the same situation as their parents.

Facts on Poverty: Copied from Plan Youth

Out of the world’s population of approximately 7 billion people:

 •  Nearly half– more than 3 billion – live in poverty

•  1.4 billion people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less, also known as extreme poverty     

•  1.7 billion people lack access to clean water

•  842 million people do not have enough to eat on a daily basis.
Almost half of the world’s 2.2 billion children are living in poverty!

•  About 640 million, or 1 in 3, of these children don’t have adequate shelter
•  400 million, or 1 in 5, don’t have regular access to safe drinking water
•  270 million, or 1 in 7, don’t have access to health care.
Remember, here in Canada, a lot of men and women living in poverty were once employed, successful or stable. I've personally met many of them and have heard many stories on how individuals went from riches to rags!

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