There are 100 million fewer women than men around the world. In impoverished areas of the world, if a girl survives to adolescence, often times social constructs and even laws put them at a disadvantage to men. Poverty, poor medical care, lack of sexual protection, childbirth, and several other factors that prey on women all contribute to their shortened life expectancy. It is a viscous cycle; education can reduce poverty, but poverty causes education to become less of a priority or possibility.
Girl Effect aims to attack poverty, disease, war, social equality, and the world’s economy by educating girls in the developing world. It may sound idealistic, but there is much research behind the hypothesis that when girls are given any additional education, they are less likely to marry early, have children early, die from childbirth, contract HIV, and live in poverty. The Girl Effect also recognizes the different impact that women have versus men on their children and families. According to The Girl Effect Fact Sheet women reinvest 90 percent of income into their families, while men only reinvest 30 to 40 percent of income into their families. That means that educating a young girl and giving her the opportunity to earn an income will make her 50 percent more likely to reduce poverty in her family than if a young boy was given additional educational opportunities. Women can make powerful changes when given the opportunity.
The Girl Effect was created by the Nike Foundation with support from the NoVo Foundation and Nike, Inc. However, Nike’s branding is not included in any The Girl Effect materials, and I had to search to find that information listed. In addition, the areas targeted by The Girl Effect are not major markets for Nike. This seems to be an entirely philanthropic undertaking, focused only on worldwide benefits, not benefiting any investor. Other partners in The Girl Effect movement are the United Nations Foundation and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls.