Why Girls Count
We believe that investing in the future of every girl and young women is key to achieving healthy, fair and productive societies. In our 100 years of experience in working with girls and young women, we understand that they are key to addressing and impacting significant issues such as poverty, discrimination, the spread of disease, and climate change. We know that girls and young women should be at the heart of these issues – empowered, heard and effecting change.
However, the challenge for girls and young women to be heard and to effect change in their communities is a significant one. Even in the 21st century, gender inequality remains:
- There are twice as many illiterate women over the age of 15 than men.
- Women earn 10 per cent of the world’s income but work two-thirds of the world’s working hours.
- 70 per cent of those living in poverty are women.
- 45 million girls are currently denied an education
- In Europe women earn only 76 per cent of men’s gross hourly pay for the same job
- Just 9 per cent of HIV positive women in the developing world have access to the treatment that blocks HIV passing to new-borns
- Women hold only 18.2 per cent of the world’s parliamentary seats
This is unacceptable, and must not be allowed to continue. We believe that the solution lies in equipping and empowering girls and young women to become agents of change themselves - impacting their homes, their communities, their countries and their world.
As the largest voluntary Movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world, WAGGGS is the best placed organisation to effect this change. The Global Girls Fund has therefore been set-up to provide the means by which we deliver real change and empower each and every girl with whom we are in contact.