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Adolescent girls are uniquely capable of raising the standard of living in the developing world. It’s been shown: she will reinvest her income and knowledge back into her family and her community. As an educated mother, an active citizen, an ambitious entrepreneur or prepared employee, a girl will break the cycle of inter-generational poverty.

That is the girl effect.

Yet, despite her proven potential, she is more likely to be uneducated, a child bride, and exposed to HIV/AIDS. Less than two cents of every international development dollar is directed to her.

Today, the world is starting to see that the cost of excluding a girl doesn’t just impact her. It impacts everyone.

The ranks of girl champions around the world are growing, including the Nike Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, the International Center for Research on Women, the Population Council, CARE, the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, the Center for Global Development, Plan International, and the Global Business Coalition, among others.

Progress has been made and solutions identified, yet more must be done.

The 600 million adolescent girls in developing countries are ready to change the world.

THE GIRL EFFECT, The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.


She’s the economic backbone of her family: the chore doer, the caretaker, the insurance policy. She’ll be the mother oft the next generation.

She will reinvest 90 percent of her income into her family, generating a powerful ripple effect.

Her brother? Thirty to forty percent.

When she’s educated through secondary school, she’ll bring 25% more income into her family.

When she’s healthy, her community’s health will improve as maternal mortality and child malnutrition drop, and HIV rates decline.

She will drive 70% of agricultural production.

She is an unrealized economic force, accelerating growth and progress in every sector.

Exclude her and the world misses out on an enormous opportunity.

Kenya would gain $27 billion in potential income per generation if its female secondary school dropouts continued their education.

Brazil fore-goes an average of $17.3 billion per year as a result of girls’ joblessness.

India sacrifices a potential of $100 billion over a lifetime due to adolescent pregnancy.

There are 600 million adolescent girls in the developing world. Invest in their lives, and many more lives benefit. Investing in girls has the highest untapped return in development .

It’s as simple as that.



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