Why Girls Are Worth More Than the World Tells Them

By Serena Jiwani

October 11, 2017

This International Day of the Girl, let’s recommit to valuing every girl around us as equally as we value our boys.

 Today marks the International Day of the Girl – a time to celebrate the strength, power, and potential of the young girls in our lives. It’s also a time to take stock of what needs to be done to ensure that girls are empowered to pursue their dreams.

Today, we’re reading new research by our partners at Save the Children. They surveyed fourth graders in two countries in West Africa, as well as the United States, to understand how young children perceive differences between boys and girls. The findings were striking: Save the Children’s research found that young boys – and even many young girls – believe that boys are smarter than girls and should be educated first. This research is not only true in countries around the world, its true right here at home. The findings showed that nearly 40% of fourth-grade boys surveyed in America believe that boys are smarter than girls.

The research organized by Save the Children not only explored different perceptions of girls and boys at school – they also looked at the workplace. They found that more than one-fifth of the American parents surveyed think that men should make more money than women.  These perceptions have real and lasting effects. Whether at home, in school, or in the workplace, the way we devalue girls starts as early as the 4th grade and continues throughout adulthood.

Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children, said: “Girls are worth far more than what the world tells them. Globally, we know that girls are more likely than boys to miss out on school, experience violence and live in poverty… By providing children equal opportunities and access to learning, every girl can realize what she’s truly worth.”

This International Day of the Girl, let’s recommit to valuing every girl around us as equally as we value our boys.

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Pictures were taken in Honduras by Stuart Ramson / Shot@Life

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