London - Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. According to the United Nations, the day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
But it is not easy being a girl in today's world.
Here are 9 horrific facts to mark International Day of the Girl:
- Worldwide, about 15 million girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sex.
- In Britain, two-thirds of girls surveyed by Plan International said they had experienced unwanted sexual attention or contact in a public place.
- Every week, 7,000 girls between 15 and 24 are infected with HIV.
- More than 200 million girls and women have experienced female genital mutilation around the world.
- Nearly 3 million girls have been displaced by war.
- Girls in conflict zones are more than twice as likely to be out of school than girls in peaceful countries.
- About 62 million girls of primary and lower secondary school age are not in school.
- Based on current trends, almost 10 million girls will marry in 2030 alone, and more than 2 million of those brides will be under the age of 15.
- Every year, 12 millions girls are married off before they turn 18 and one in five become mothers before the age of 18.
SOURCES: UNICEF, Plan International, World Health Organization, Care International, Save the Children
Thomson Reuters Foundation and IOL