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Startling Top Ten Facts about adolescent girls in today's world

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Teenage girls spend an awful lot of time with their friends. This is an essential way for them to develop support outside of their families and further socialize them to the outside world. In developed nations, 95 percent of all adolescent females get to do this, but this isn't always the case elsewhere. In Mexico, only one in five teenage girls get to spend time with their peers, increasing their chance of becoming pregnant early, dropping out of school or doing dangerous labor.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just one out of ten very important facts about adolescent girls and their development worldwide. In a study by the Nike Foundation, less than two cents of every development dollar goes to programs specifically serving adolescent girls. Adolescent girls largely remain an overlooked and underserved segment of the population, experts say.

Teenage girls often face unique health, social and economic problems due to early marriage, pregnancy, infection with HIV, lack of education, poverty, unsafe work conditions and domestic violence.


Therefore, investing in the health and education of these girls is essential to the economic and social success of families, communities and countries throughout the world.


Girls Discovered, a project of the Girls Count initiative of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, has drawn 10 Global Girls facts drawn from their research.


1. There currently are 583.9 million girls between the ages of 10 and 19, making up 8.5 percent of the global population. By 2025, the number of adolescent girls is expected to grow by more than 23 million.


2. Babies born to teenage mothers are particularly vulnerable to infant mortality due to the health risks of early childbearing to mother and child. 


3. In the next 10 years, 14.2 million girls under the age of 18 will be married every year.


4. Across South Asia, 26.6 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 24 are illiterate.


5. An estimated 101 million girls aged 10 years and older across Africa have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting.


6. Two fifths, of the world's girls live in poverty, living on less than $2 per day. Many are forced to leave school for work to support their families.


7. Globally, 4.4 million girls between the ages of 15 and 24 are living with HIV.


8. Girls are at high risk of having to work because of their lower rates of education and literacy. Sixteen percent of the world's girls are engaged in child labor.


9. Many teenage girls are socially isolated, cut off from friends outside of their immediate families, which puts then at higher risk for stunting emotional growth. 


10. More than one in 70 percent of girls in developing nation head households due to losing parents and caregivers to HIV/AIDS or armed conflict, which usually means dropping out of school and looking for a job.

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