Girls' Rights

April 17, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 15
Can the movement achieve lasting change?
By Amy Yee


Girls from the slums of Islamabad (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
Girls from the slums of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, attend a makeshift school on Dec. 9, 2014. Helping girls get access to education is a high priority for girls' rights activists worldwide. Nearly 120 million girls do not attend primary school. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

A movement to protect and expand girls' rights around the world is gaining support from governments, international donors and advocacy groups. Improving girls' lives is not only a moral issue — research shows it also speeds economic development. Activists are pushing to end child marriage, educate all girls, improve their reproductive health and reduce violence and discrimination against them. Although girls' mortality and school enrollment rates have been improving, obstacles remain. Nearly 120 million girls do not attend primary school, and 15 million girls under 18 marry each year, often under duress, ending their schooling and putting them at risk for domestic violence and health complications. In some countries girls' progress is threatened by religious extremists, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Activists say that to have lasting effects, girls' rights campaigns must establish effective on-the-ground programs that change societal attitudes as well as local policies.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Women's Rights
Apr. 03, 2020  The Equal Rights Amendment
Apr. 17, 2015  Girls' Rights
Apr. 03, 2012  Women's Rights
Nov. 13, 2009  Women in the Military
May 2008  Women's Rights
Mar. 21, 2008  Women in Politics
Feb. 28, 1997  Feminism's Future
Oct. 13, 1989  Should Women Be Allowed into Combat?
Jul. 28, 1989  Do Pregnant Women Lose Legal Rights?
Sep. 17, 1982  Women and Politics
Dec. 15, 1978  Equal Rights Fight
Jun. 23, 1978  The Rights Revolution
Jun. 13, 1975  International Women's Year
Jul. 05, 1973  Women's Consciousness Raising
Oct. 11, 1972  Women Voters
Aug. 05, 1970  Status of Women
Feb. 20, 1956  Women in Politics
Jan. 24, 1951  Womanpower in Mobilization
Apr. 04, 1946  Equal Rights Amendment
May 31, 1927  The Woman's Vote in National Elections
Child Abuse
Global Issues
Humanitarian Assistance
Marriage and Divorce
Population Control
Women's Health Issues