Why Girls?

Why Focus on Girls?

Where there is poverty in the world, a girl is most vulnerable.

When a girl is protected and empowered, her family and community thrive. When a girl’s family and community thrive, the world is changed.

She is at risk for dropping out of school early, sexual violence, forced child marriage, early pregnancy, complications during childbirth, and contracting HIV/AIDS. If she survives, she will raise her children in poverty and they, too, will face the same obstacles.

And yet, girls have the potential to move themselves and their families into a healthier, more secure life. JLMC firmly believes that investing in the empowerment of adolescent girls means supporting the most powerful force for change on the planet.

Investing in women and girls is the most powerful way to address global poverty. That’s why JLMC developed the Girl Power Project® curriculum to empower vulnerable adolescent girls to stay in school and avoid forced child marriage, early pregnancy, and disease.

Adolescence is a critical juncture for girls:

The Cycle of Poverty for a Girl: A life of early marriage, early pregnancy, and disease.


Education Empowers Girls: A life of education, independence, and delayed marriage.

Globally, 1/4 of a billion girls live in poverty.
(United Nations, 2015)

Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18.

25-50% of girls in developing countries give birth before the age of 18.
(UN Population Fund)

In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 5 girls do not make it to secondary school.

In central Uganda, nearly 50% of girls drop out of school by the age of 15.
(Population Council 2013)

In central Uganda, 77% of reported child abuse is rape against girls.
(ANPPCAN Uganda)

Gender inequalities, such as power differentials that can lead to sexual coercion by older men and rape, and unequal access to education and economic opporunities make women and girls highly vulnerable to contracting HIV.
(UNAIDS 2013)

Medical complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death globally among girls from the ages of 15-19.
(WHO 2014)

"Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, or improve nutrition and promote health, including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. When women are fully involved, the benefits can be seen immediately: families are healthier; they are better fed; their income, savings, and reinvestment go up. And what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, whole countries."

— Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Girls can improve health and lower mortality rates.

When a girl has 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
(Center for Global Development 2009)

A girl who completes basic education is 3x less likely to contract HIV/AIDS.
(The Global Campaign for Education 2011)

Girls who stay in school during adolescence have a later sexual debut, are less likely to be subjected to forced sex and, if sexually active, are more likely to use contraception than their age peers who are out of school.

Educated women earn more, and their communities benefit.

Increasing the secondary education of all girls could result in an annual income increase of 30% per capita.
(Chaaban 2011)

Wages rise by 20% for every year beyond the 4th grade that a girl remains in school. reinvest 30-40%.
(USAID 2011)

Educated women reinvest 90% of their income in their family, while men reinvest 30-40%.

Giving women the same access to resources and services as men could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million.

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