Empowering Girls

Empowering Girls to lead self-determined, healthy, and productive lives!

“An educated, self-determined, and healthy woman has the power to lift herself out of poverty and change the destiny of her family, community, and country. Let’s support her to achieve her full potential.”

ISSUES vs. SOLUTIONS

Everybody has the right to achieve their full potential. However, millions of girls and women living in low- and middle-income countries are denied their right to choose their own path in life. This not only diminishes their potential but also has a detrimental impact on the future well-being and prosperity of their families, communities, and nations.

Empowering girls…

to lead

self-determined lives!

Unmet need for contraceptives: over 220 million women and girls lack access to modern contraception. This limits their ability to determine the timing and spacing of their pregnancies.

Champion policies that promote girls’ education beyond primary school. Girls who remain in school longer are less likely to become pregnant or get married at an early age.

Adolescent pregnancy:Every day, over 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth in low- and middle-income countries. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are one of the leading causes of death for girls between 15 to 19 years.

Campaign for multi-dimensional policies that address the root causes of inequalities, teenage pregnancy and forced marriage, and support women and girls in leading self-determined lives.

Lack of education: Over 31 million girls are not enrolled in primary school. Girls are often forced to drop-out due to child marriage, school fees, lack of sanitary resources, and the threat of sexual violence.

Encourage governments to prioritize youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, information and education.

to lead

healthy lives!

Inequality:Lack of access to health services is not only linked to weak health systems, but also to gender inequality and a lack of respect for women’s rights. As a result, over 289,000 women die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth each year – 99 percent which occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Promote policies and programmes that strengthen health systems and secure access to health services for all women and girls.

Malnourishment: The risk of maternal death is greatly increased if a woman is malnourished during pregnancy. This can also increase the risk of low-birth weight babies which have severe long-term health and development consequences.

Advocate for the fulfilment of the new Sustainable Development Goals – especially those that directly address gender equality and maternal health.

Disease: Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty-related and neglected diseases such as HIV & AIDS, TB, and malaria. HIV & AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide for women and girls in their reproductive years.

Champion the needs of women and girls worldwide by encouraging governments to fully implement key international agreements for gender equality such as the Cairo Programme of Action, and the Beijing Platform of Action.

to lead

productive lives!

Employment: Women account for 40% of the global workforce, but are often trapped in vulnerable jobs, with lower pay, weak social security, and little chance of training or promotion.

Address gender inequality by advocating for the creation of programmes that challenge pre-conceived gender roles and harmful cultural practices. The inclusion of boys and men is vital towards achieving sustainable change.

Violence: Over one billion girls will suffer physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Often, early pregnancies are the result of sexual violence or coercion, such as forced marriage – there are over 140 million child brides per decade.

Include the voices of women and girls in the creation and implementation of policies and programmes that impact them.

Discrimination: Women and girls living in poverty are prone to suffer lifelong discrimination with restricted access to decent work, social security, property, and training and education.

Protect women’s rights to decent and productive work and ensure they have full access to social security, equal property and inheritance rights.

Creating a better future for Girls!

Empowering women and girls living in low- and middle-income countries by listening to and focusing on their needs, including their voices in development planning, addressing gender inequalities, and enabling access to comprehensive sexuality education, information and health services will lead to…

…less violence, coercion, and harmful practices, leading to…

…fewer unintended pregnancies and better spacing of births, leading to…

…better child and maternal health, and quality education, leading to…

…improved employment opportunities and enhanced living standards.

At the same time, access to…

…quality health facilities, counseling, and skilled health personnel, substantially contribute to a reduction in maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

Achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights

Millions of women and girls living today in some of the world’s poorest countries do not have access to family planning and modern contraceptives which means that they have no control over the timing and spacing of their births. We work towards reducing this unmet need for family planning by promoting access to health information, services, and supplies. Providing women and girls with education, sexual and reproductive health services, and skilled health professionals during and after pregnancy and child birth, can lead to significant decreases in maternal and new-born mortality, lessen the impact and spread of diseases, improve gender equality, and can have a tremendous impact on their future potential. Not only does investing in access to health and SRHR save lives, it also advances gender equality, youth empowerment, poverty reduction, and human rights. Here is what we are doing to help.

Sylvia is 14 years old and lives in Uganda. This short film tracks her hopes and dreams and explores what a difference having access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information, services and supplies can make in helping her reach her true potential.