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Home > About Us > Press Center > Women and Girls

Women and Girls

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Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz
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202.615.2608 (c)

Latest News
09/03/2008Millions of girls married early lose out on health, schooling

The Need

A girl born today in a poor community becomes part of the largest group of people to be denied basic needs and human rights—women. In many cultures, a girl is devalued from birth. She may be given less food, denied urgent medical care and assigned exhausting chores. As a pre-teen or young teen, she may be forced to end her education in order to marry, or even be sold into prostitution to feed her family.

As an adult, poverty makes her more vulnerable to threats like domestic violence, childbirth complications and HIV infection — and often prevents her from breaking the cycle of exploitation for her daughters.

In many cultures, a girl is devalued from birth.
Maheshwari cuddles with her daughters. Just like any mother, she has dreams for her girls and wants them to be happy and safe.

Fast Facts
Women earn only 10 percent of the world’s income, yet they work two out of every three of the world’s labor hours. Source: UN Millennium Campaign 2005
It is estimated that 2 million children, mostly girls, are enslaved in the global sex trade. Source: UNICEF State of the World's Children 2005
Worldwide, one woman dies every minute due to problems related to pregnancy. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths are in the developing world. Source: World Health Report 2005

World Vision’s Response

Recognizing women as critical partners in development, our trained staff actively and sensitively work to equip and encourage women around the world.

      Health care—Along with basic health care, World Vision offers prenatal, nutrition and hygiene classes for women. We also help women prevent the spread of HIV through
      training based on biblical principles.

      Recovery from exploitation—World Vision operates facilities that help provide recovery for girls abused in the sex trade—or used as sex slaves during armed conflict—through assistance like counseling, health care, education and job training and placement.

      Education—World Vision programs in nearly 100 countries help provide access to education for girls and literacy training for women—cornerstones of women’s development.

      Small loans—Knowing that women consistently use their income to provide for their children, World Vision offers microloans and job training to help women start or expand small businesses.

      Community education—Our culturally sensitive staff promotes recognition of the inherent value of girls and trains women to advocate for their rights and become leaders in their communities.

      Combating child sex tourism—In partnership with U.S. and local law enforcement, World Vision works to combat the sexual exploitation of children by tourists in developing countries.

    Additional Resource
    Creating an Enabling Environment for the Advancement of Women and Girls
    World Vision Briefing Paper to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women
    March 2006 [PDF]

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    Who Is World Vision?

    World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

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