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Being a girl is hard enough without the extra pressures put on girls in poverty.  Women, remember being twelve?  No one expected you to be an adult and hopefully your biggest medical worry was the flu.  Men, could you imagine your sister, niece, daughter, or granddaughter married off at twelve, separated from her family and loved ones?  It is easy to sit back in our recliners and forget that not everyone gets to choose when they are married.

The world is not equal.  Did you know, according to The Girl Effect website “[l]ess than two cents of every international aid dollar is directed to girls.”

Less than two cents.

Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.  Talk about untapped potential since aprox. three quarters of them are not in school and one in seven is married off before she turns fifteen.  The Girl Effect Campaign is not just about letting these girls experience childhood and grow into productive and healthy adults, but also the impact they will have on their families, their communities, and their countries, as adults.  Girls can become anything, policy makers, doctors, lawyers, but not if they continue to be overlooked and their potential squandered.

I’ve watched many TV shows, reality and fictional, that talk about the cycle of violence or the cycle of poverty.  “My dad was a drug dealer, so I have no other choice.”  Well, we can give these girls a choice.  “But I don’t have much money, the economy is bad, I can hardly afford my own expenses,” you say?  Give up your morning coffee and how much can you save?  Sanchita, a girl in Bangladesh changed her future with just $60.

Lau-tzu said it perfectly, “[a] journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Even if you cannot donate money, you can spread the word.  Blog, post on Twitter and Facebook.  Be a voice for girls who get less than two cents of every dollar of international relief.  Join the movement today.

*Stats from The Girl Effect Facts Sheet