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Girls & Women

Women and Girls: Key to end poverty

After reading through, #Showyourselfie to tell world leaders you care about the rights of girls and young women.

There are currently 1.08 billion people living in extreme poverty globally.

Why is today especially important in the fight against extreme poverty? October 17th marks the 21st year that the world observes the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The last three decades have seen tremendous progress for the world’s extreme poor -- people who live on less than $1.25 USD a day. In 1981, more than half of the population (52%) in developing countries lived in extreme poverty. Today, this number has decreased to less than 17%.

Seeing a world without extreme poverty by 2030 is possible if these trends continue. Yet, women and girls still continue to represent the majority of the world’s poor. 70% of the 1 billion poorest people are female.

Women and girls all over the world are held back simply because of their gender. They are disproportionately affected by discrimination, violence, and exploitation. Too many are deprived the opportunity to an education and to basic health care services.

Girls and boys, women and men don’t have equal opportunities to succeed, equal pay in the workforce, or equal representation in governing bodies.

  • Women make up only 22% of Members of Parliament.
  • Only 19 countries have female leaders.
  • Only 25 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO.
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience violence in their lifetime.
  • 32 million girls remain out of school.
  • 14 million girls, some as young as five years old, will be married each year. That’s 39,000 every day.

We live in a world where in some parts of the world, young girls are more likely to die in childbirth than they are to finish school. We do not live in a world where every young person is given the fair chance in life that we all deserve.

In order to overcome these inequalities, the world must prioritize their needs and basic human rights. Investing in women and girls creates long-term social and economic benefits for individuals, their communities, and the global economy.

One of the strongest commitments to fully involve women and girls in development and uphold their rights came out of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, an agenda for the empowerment of women everywhere.

There is still far to go.

In order to see a world without extreme poverty by 2030, we MUST achieve gender equality. This begins by ending discrimination against girls and women at home, at school, at work, in societies and communities around the world.

What can you do today?


#Showyourselfie is a visual petition to bring the stories and faces of today's youth into the spotlight.

Your selfie is your signature of support to ensure that our world leaders sit up and listen to the next generation. We must hold policymakers accountable to ensure that girls and women’s rights are prioritized in the post-2015 agenda -- the roadmap to the future of development.

Use your voice, use your selfie, and stand up for our next generation. We cannot move forward when half of us are held back.


Leticia Pfeffer