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The Challenge Today

There are 600 million girls living in the developing world. Two-thirds of the world's uneducated children are girls, and two-thirds of the world's illiterate adults are women. Around the world, girls and women continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunity, inadequate health care and education, early marriage, sexual violence, and discrimination. Numerous studies have demonstrated that educating women and girls is the single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies.

There are compelling benefits associated with girls' education:

  • Reduction of child and maternal mortality
  • Improvement of child nutrition and health
  • Lower birth rates
  • Enhancement of women's domestic role and their political participation
  • Improvement of the economic productivity and growth
  • Protection of girls from HIV/AIDS, abuse and exploitation

Girls' education yields some of the highest returns of all development investments, yielding both private and social benefits that accrue to individuals, families, and society.

Sources: The Global Fund for Women, The World Bank, The Clinton Global Initiative

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