Growing up, I was immersed within the world of feminism through my activist mother. I always remember idolizing women such as Wonder Woman and Emmeline Pankhurst and I was always repeatedly disappointed at the lack of enthusiasm that others shared, as if the thought of feminism was the last thing on their minds. Then, as I grew older- the more harsh and darker situations that crowded women crept into my mind, haunting me, making me realize that the catcalls that surround myself and my friends when we walk down the street weren’t even half the amount of prejudice that girls living in third-world countries suffer. So, let’s talk about it, as most of us aren’t aware.
We need to face the unfortunate fact that over 132 million girls do not attend school and the stark reality that over the global pandemic these statistics have increased. Girls are excluded from school for the reasons of poverty, child labour, child marriage, poor equality, and gender-based violence and, statistics show that some countries lose up to 1 billion US dollars a year for immensely failing on educating their female population. So why, I ask, do countries still fail to face the fact that girls being educated are not some heroically bad act against nature?
Information stated in a March 2020 report by End FGM European Network, US, provides us with the knowledge that in third world countries, ninety-two all together, female genital cutting or FGC was practiced. Thirty-one of those countries have no law against genital cutting and fifty-one countries performed the procedure illegally. Genital cutting is the act of ritual genital snipping, removing any external female genitalia. This ritual is recognized as a violation of girls' human rights, and yet many girls are forced to undergo this procedure. Fifty-five million girls living in Africa are estimated to have undergone FGC or are at risk, half of these girls live in Egypt, Ethiopia, or Nigeria, and in Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierre Leone, Somalia, and Sudan, there is no law against the procedure.
Let’s not forget that over twelve million girls per year are forced into child marriages and more than six hundred and fifty million women of the 1.8 billion population of females, were married before their eighteenth birthdays. Statistics show that globally, 35% percent of women have been sexually abused and fifteen million teenagers aged from 15-19 have been forced into sex.
What can we do to help these girls? There are hundreds of organizations and charities that will cherish your help forever, even if its a simple donation of £5, your money will go to help educating woman, stopping FGC, preventing sexual/violence/emotional abuse in homes, stopping child marriages, gaining girls rights in developing countries, and taking steps to end sexism. These organizations include, the Malala Fund-Malala Fund , Orchid Orchid Project, Girls Not Brides Girls Not Brides, Dahlia Project Dahlia Project, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Gates Foundation, Women for Women International Women for Women, Refuge Refuge, Action Aid Action Aid International , Action for Children Action for Children , Solace Solace , and many more.
Sometimes we think what difference can we make, who am I to make that change? I ask you who are you not to?