According to the EFE news agency 75 million girls worldwide do not receive a secondary education, 64% of all HIV/AIDS cases are in women under the age of 24 and every three seconds a girl is forced to get married. In several Latin America and the Caribbean countries the statistics are no less reassuring:
- In 2009, 15.5% of Mexican girls between the age of 15 and 19 had at least one child partly as a result of 61.2% of teens who did not use birth control.
- 69% of the 7551 reported cases of domestic or sexual violence in Peru during the first eight months of this year involved girls under the age of 17.
- A survey taken two years ago showed that 43% of women in the Dominican Republic aged between 20 and 49 had married before reaching the age of 18.
- 70% of Bolivian girls do not got to school while 30% of girls residing in rural areas finish elementary school.
- 248 girls under the age of 14 were killed last year in Colombia, which is up from 176 in 2010.
- 14% of Ecuadorian indigenous girls between the ages of 5 and 17 do not attend school.
- Roland Angerer of the Plan International NGO told EFE that for Central American girls the “quality of education is worse” than other regions and the levels of malnutrition are “worrying”.
“All studies demonstrate that investing in girls is one of the best investments to reduce poverty, improve health and education, and advance in equality,” said UN Women chief Michelle Bachelet. “The girls of the world have the right to be heard and that these rights are promoted and protected,” added the ex-Chilean president according to BBC Mundo.
The following video comes from Journeyman Films and focuses on the difficulties faced by young Haitian women. It’s worth noting that the video was made in 2009 before a January 2010 earthquake that placed added burdens on female survivors:
Video Source – YouTube via Journeyman Films
Online Sources - UN.org, lainformacion.com, CNN Mexico, La Republica, eljaya.com, Prensa Latina, Semana.com, El Telegrafo, BBC Mundo, La Prensa, Los Angeles Times