I am joining hundreds of bloggers to lend my support to the Girl Effect led by Tara Sophia Mohr. This is a campaign on behalf of girls like us to become educated and break free from the poverty that invariably kills dreams.
How can we support every one of us on this planet to live a life that honors our own potential - our unique ability to share our gifts?
It's a matter of honor. Giving and receiving honor is one and the same. When we honor another, we honor ourselves.
"If you see God within every man and woman, then you can never do harm to any man or woman. If you see God in yourself, then you attain perfection." The Bhagavad Gita
How do we truly honor ourselves and in that honoring, honor others?
- to listen to our own heart
- to make choices that respect the sacredness of who we truly are
- to feel the pain and move beyond the personal stories that have us feeling less than or not good enough
- to value our own gifts and share them with others, not as rescuers, but because we can't help being who we naturally are.
We all have had the experience of knowing what it's like to feel the pain of dishonor - in big and small ways. Many of us have old stories that have impacted our lives; stories that have inspired us to move forward and make a difference because of the gift of compassion that grew in their wake.
Rooted in each story is a jewel - an inspiration. For me, the gift of being born a girl in an Italian family that really wanted a boy inspired me to get a solid education so I could make a difference. In this, my heart awakened to compassion.
I invite you to pour over the stories in the videos below. Honor these girls just like us who have the possibility to powerfully and positively impact a family, a community, our world. In doing so, we honor ourselves.
Here are the facts:
- Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world, with numbers on the rise.
- One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in these countries each year.
- A survey in India found that girls who married before age 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped, or threatened by their husbands as were girls who married later.
- 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female, up from 62 percent in 2001.
- Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.
- In Mozambique, 60 percent of girls with no schooling are married before age 18 versus only 10 percent of their educated counterparts.
And here is the possibility:
- For every year of schooling, infant mortality declines by 5-10 percent.
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 percent.
- Girls work hard and are devoted to their families. They carry water, care for children, harvest crops, and tend livestock. With adequate support and direction, these qualities can be channeled to improve the lives of themselves and their families.
"We ask ourselves is it possible to break through this heavy conditioning of centuries immediately and not enter into another conditioning - to be free, so that the mind can be altogether new, sensitive, alive, aware, intense, capable?" Kishnamurti
How we can make a difference and honor ourselves, honor others....
I invite you to visit www.girleffect.org to join others like me in supporting this campaign. It's a matter of honor. If you’d like to write your own Girl Effect post, please click here for all the information.
Any comments? I'd love to hear.