Girls. Beautiful, hopeful, dreaming, powerful girls. Girls can and will change the world. But 250 million girls are living in poverty and their unique potential and capacity for growth is threatened every day. These girls can play a critical role in their own salvation if given the power to do so.
The Girl Effect movement was created by the Nike Foundation in collaboration with the NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Coalition for Adolescent Girls.
The Girl Effect is about education, health, safety, economic security and citizenship. It’s about giving girls a voice, strength, hope and a future free of oppression, fear and violence. Including girls in crafting their own futures provides them with choice and opportunity. The choice of when to marry and have children, for example.
Investing in girls can mean the end of intergenerational poverty and give them the means to shape their futures to influence not just their own families and communities, but rise to meet the global challenges of sustainability, inequality, healthcare and technology.
Girls were left out of the 2000 UN Millenium Development Goals, a series of eight international development goals set by all 189 UN member states to address poverty, education, gender issues, child mortality and maternal health, disease, sustainability and future development.
To make sure this doesn’t happen again the Girl Declaration was fashioned together with the help of 508 girls living in poverty. It is a resounding, uplifting and even heartbreaking testimony to the hopes and dreams of every girl.
We are very familiar with the UN MDGs because we worked with the United Nations in 2007 to create a movement that would address two of them: MDG 4 – Reduce Child Mortality and MDG 5 – Improve Maternal Health.
The movement, Deliver now for Women and Children, was successful, reducing mortality rates for both women and children by 45 and 50 percent, respectively.
These two MDGs were combined based on a fairly recent connection between maternal health and child mortality that indicates that when we improve maternal health, we equip mothers to improve the health and lives of children.
Our excitement about the The Girl Effect and The Girl Declaration stems from our recognition that another shift in perspective is underway, as leaders begin to realize that the potential for ending poverty is so directly connected to education, health and economic investments in girls!
Please join us in helping raise the profile of the girl effect and ensure that girls are included in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda by visiting girleffect.org and sharing its message with friends and colleagues.
The Girl Effect has made it easy and fun to spread the word. They are present on every major social media platform and they have even created an open source brand identity and tool kit that you can customize.
The Girl Effect movement needs us and the world needs these girls. Working together, we really can change the world.
Join the movement. Change the world.
#girldeclaration, @girleffect, https://www.facebook.com/girleffect