We all have challenges in life that test our limitations.
Some challenges push us to new heights and help us accomplish our goals. Other challenges, however, can be daunting and seemingly keep us from rising above our circumstances to accomplish anything worthwhile for ourselves and others.
Such is the case for many girls in developing regions like Africa, India and The Middle East. These girls, like anyone, have dreams and hopes for their lives, yet the abilities and opportunities to achieve those goals are limited or may not exist at all.
According to www.PlanCanada.ca, the stats for girls are quite disheartening:
- Almost 50% of girls between 15 and 19 years old believe that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances.
- 100,000 girls are child soldiers
- Girls’ literacy rates are 13% less than boys worldwide.
- 15% of girls worldwide can’t read and write.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, 33% of girls between 15 and 24 years are illiterate.
- Twelve million girls in Sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1 a day.
- 27% of girls living in the least developed countries are involved in child labor.
While these facts present a disturbing situation for girls in undeveloped regions, the situation is not hopeless. There are positive, pro-active actions being taken that are making a difference.
In fact, Educate Girls Globally, which is committed to empowering girls in developed and undeveloped regions, has an innovative way of training and maintaining leaders called “Girls Parliaments”.
Girls Parliaments goal is simple: Empower girls through leadership development and life skills workshops.
These parliaments are set up at all EGG-participating middle and high schools. In India, the first and only Girls Parliament so far, approximately 35,000 girls were enrolled in EGG project schools.
Girls were elected as “GP Ministers” which trained them for leadership roles during the school year. Regular meetings are conducted, plans developed and then real action taken to solve problems in their own living area. Those problems are serious, too, such as poor sanitation, early marriage and career opportunities.
In this groundbreaking, non-governmental program, Indian girls have a voice and take their newly found empowerment to change their own lives and others in their community.
As a result of the EGG Girls Parliament training, their schools become “girl-friendly”. This was so successful that now “EGG schools” have higher enrollment, attendance and graduation rates.
But, it doesn’t stop in the schools. These girls’ communities are now safer, healthier places for these girls. They have more opportunities to finish their education, gain self-confidence, use skills in jobs and increase their self-esteem.
In spite of the oppressive, anti-female culture that surrounds them, the EGG Girls Parliament develops leadership in these girls to better themselves and, in turn, their communities. There is not only hope for girls in India, (and soon, Africa and The Middle East) but there is measurable progress.
You can learn more about how The Educating Girls Globally Parliament (EGGP) helps girls empower themselves and each other. If you’d like to support our non-profit organization or find out how you can assist in other ways, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.