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.
- 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.
It's what One Girl calls...
- 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..
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.
- At $300 - I'll ask a girl out while wearing a dress.
- At $600 - I'll do a full gym session... wearing a dress.
- At $900 - I'll do the ENTIRE Sydney to Gong bike ride (90km, nearly 60miles!)... in a dress.
Link to sources: Also a great infographic showing the issues women face around the world.