Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why I'm wearing a Dress (and doing humiliating things in public with it on too...)

Last post:                                     My Story:                                         Next One

When I told mum that I was gonna run around in a school dress to raise money for girls' education... she was, understandably, shocked.  https://www.doitinadress.com/nikhil-autar

"How could you do that? I'm not gonna donate to you!"

But then I started telling her why. 

Even in our "modern" times, in the "modern", developed world, women earn 17.5% less than men for jobs with equal responsibilities... 

But when we look at figures in the developing world... the inequality becomes even more shocking. 

  • 1/7 girls in the developing world will be married before 15. 1/3 will be married before 18. And most of those married young are poorer.
  • Girls who give birth before 15 are 5 times more likely to die in pregnancy and birth. 
  • Complications from childbirth are still the number 1 killer in adolescent women. 
  • Worldwide, 50% of all sexual assaults are against girls younger than 15. 
That in itself is staggering... She agreed that it is. As I'm sure you do too. 

"But millions in the developing world are suffering. What will targeting One Girl do?"

She's right. They are suffering. But improving the prospects of women in society isn't just great for women... it's great for everyone.
  • Closing the joblessness gap between men and women alone would lead to a 1.2% per year increase in GDP for any nation.
  • Countries who don't engage women in the workforce LOSE 27% of GDP per capita.
  • Allowing women the same rights to access services and farm would lead to a 30% increase in their production. If this happened everywhere, we could feed 100-150 MILLION starving people!
  • It's been proven that women, when raised out of poverty and earning, invest 90% of their income back into their family. It's a VERY effective way of not just one person, but a whole family and through them, a community.
When we bring women to an equal playing field... we aren't just righting a moral wrong... we're doubling the workforce, and improving whole communities!

It's what One Girl calls...

The Girl Effect.

"That still doesn't answer why you have to wear a dress though..."

Well, education is one of the best ways to both protect and empower women... and through them, their community - and ultimately, the world

  • When a girl in the developing world manages to get 7 years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children. 
  • For every year a girl stays in primary school, her income grows 10-20%. Every year completed in high school increases her income by 15-25%. Remember - most of that money goes straight back into the family and community!
  • And in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa... only 20% of girls get to secondary/high school. Only 5% complete it..

We can't turn back the clock... but we can change its path for many other girls. 

So why am I wearing a dress?

One Girl, the organisation that produced that video, is trying to combat this issue. And their major campaign during the year is "Do It In A Dress." where participants are told to go around and do something; anything, in a dress. 

It's a great way of getting people to get involved, and hopefully, get this issue going viral (cause unfortunately, that's what it takes for people to take notice and give).

One Girl fund girls through primary and high school, paying their school fees, giving them equipment and in secondary school, providing them with proper female sanitation (menstruation alone is why girls miss 20% of the school year - 50 DAYS. And teaching them hygiene at an early stage will improve their health for life!).  It costs them $300 to put a girl through school! That's effective!

And they work in Sierra Leonne, one of the worst places to be born a girl:

  • 1/4 girls are marries before 15.
  • 1/8 will die during childbearth. 
  • A girl born in Sierra Leone is more likely to be sexually assaulted than reach (not even complete) high school... That's some of the worst stats in a world.
So that's why I'm Doing it In A Dress.

So what am I doing?

Well - my team and I are doing this thing called Dares in a Dress.
So every time one of you donates - you can dare us to do something... preferably something humiliating (though of course - not against the law or anything too incriminating)... In a dress. 

As a bonus -  I'm putting up 3 extra-special dares as a bonus - at each "$300" mark, to celebrate the fact that YOU'VE helped me educate a girl! 

What are these extra special dares? 
  1. At $300 - I'll ask a girl out while wearing a dress.
  2. At $600 - I'll do a full gym session... wearing a dress. 
  3. At $900 - I'll do the ENTIRE Sydney to Gong bike ride (90km, nearly 60miles!)... in a dress.
Humiliate me... and change lives. Win-Win! (well... it is for you =P )

https://www.doitinadress.com/nikhil-autar <-- So donate here! And feel free to dare me to do something when you do so!

And as I mentioned - I'm doing it in a team! So if you donate here - or to all of us - you can dare us to do something in a dress... as a GROUP. I'm sure you can think of even more humiliation for us!

Link to sources: Also a great infographic showing the issues women face around the world.

This is why Tarini - A good friend who's also studying medicine - is doing it in a dress!


No comments:

Post a Comment

It's your turn!
What are your thoughts? Any similar experiences? Want to talk about something?