Wednesday, November 17, 2010
TMI* (*for a good reason)
Recently I joked with a newly menstruating 12 year old girl that she could now be married off and start popping out babies. She was appalled. I thought I was hilarious.
Until I found out through many amazing women in my web of amazing women about The Girl Effect.
It started yesterday with a tweet from @tarasophia who was pulling together (and rather well) a blogging extravaganza about The Girl Effect. Then, my friend @kt_writes tweeted that she thought I might be interested. Thanks to both of them, because while we can joke about marrying off our barely pubescent daughters, that is a very real, very stark reality for millions of girls around the world.
According to the website, over 50 million girls live in poverty. When a girl lives in poverty she is likely to be married at 12, and a mother by 14. FOURTEEN. While this was considered normal in the Dark Ages, the times are achangin'. Those teenage mothers turn to prostitution to support their babies. This makes them susceptible to AIDS and we all know how that goes. See the cycle there? Pretty icky.
I have girls. I am a girl. I know girls. This simultaneously breaks my heart and fills me with indignation. The problem isn't theirs alone, and the solution isn't either. The cool thing about The Girl Effect is that its aim is to harness the power of each of these girls; the website calls them solutions.
Can you be a solution, too? Why, yes. Yes, you can. First, head over to the website. Then, tell everyone you know. Blog about it and post it all over the place. Then, think about how you can make a real contribution. I'm not just talking about dollars, although dollars are always nice. There are plenty of efforts you can participate in to help a girl become a solution. That solution becomes a strong, thoughtful, educated woman, who raises thoughtful, educated girls to be women.
I can't wait for my own daughters (and my son) to get home from school so I can show them the video. I want them to help us decide how we will, as a family, be a part of solving this problem. What will you do?