In honor of World Population Day today take a moment and recognize the importance of being counted.
Being counted is about more than just numbers.
There are 600 million adolescent girls in developing countries between the ages of 10 and 19, but not all those girls have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and make a difference.
That is why it is so important to invest in adolescent girls – given the right opportunities, and working together, 600 million girls can not only be counted, but have an effect that counts for something even bigger.
Most girls in the United States are counted; we have the ability to make our voice heard, we have people willing to stand up for us, we have the right to vote when we turn 18, and we have ways to achieve our goals and dreams.
But girls in developing countries don’t always have those kinds of opportunities. Yet it is incredibly important that we work on giving more girls those opportunities.
Studies show that women and girls reinvest 90 percent of their income in their communities and families, while the percentage invested by men is much lower at 30-40 percent.
Also, 80-90 percent of adolescents that participate in youth programs are male, and less than 2 cents of every development dollar goes to programs designed for girls.
Clearly, we are not investing enough in girls, even though it’s the smart and right thing to do.
Take a moment and make sure all the girls in your life know that they are counted, and lets work towards making sure that all girls are counted in the future.