THE MONTH OF THE GIRL CHILD
JOIN US and TAKE ACTION
Girls need us more than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged millions of people around the world for over a year and a half. But a health crisis is not the only threat that girls face around the world. More than 60% of people in sub-Saharan Africa have lost income in the last 18 months. We are currently looking at 10 to 15 years of regression in the area of international development and human rights.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS REMAINS A GLOBAL ISSUE
For girls and women in the Global South, the impacts of COVID-19 are magnified, and this new wave of poverty is affecting them in particular. More girls are dropping out of school, being abused, forced into sex trafficking, early marriage and dealing with unwanted pregnancies. The impact on their physical safety, nourishment, health, and education is enormous and the devastating effects will reverberate for many, many years.
During COVID-19 lockdowns, many women and girls have been isolated in unsafe environments where they are at heightened risk of experiencing gender-based violence or domestic abuse. In the nine countries where Crossroads International currently operates, African partner organizations are struggling to deliver services as safely and effectively as possible. Many of them are reporting increased incidence of violence and abuse of girls.
While Female Genital Mutilation is becoming less common in some countries, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to this specific form of violence across Africa and the Middle East where the practice is most prevalent. As the end of the year fast approaches, we know that many girls will be victims of Female Genital Mutilation and some may die. The December school holiday break is also an infamous month for FGM; it is even called “the Season of Cutting” in Tanzania.
REBUILDING AFTER COVID-19 STARTS WITH WOMEN AND GIRLS
In sub-Saharan Africa, post COVID-19 resilience largely depends on women and girls as they make up over 90% of the informal labour force as caretakers and frontline workers. A new, deadlier variant of COVID-19 and limited availability of vaccines means women and girls have higher relative risk of mortality. In order to build socio-economic sustainability and resilience, it is critical to prioritize women and girls experiencing the greatest risks and barriers.
WE SUPPORT GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT
There is a need to act now to ensure specific protections for the rights of girls and young women. Crossroads International is implementing bold and ground-breaking programs to address gender inequality, poverty, and the gaps in girls’ education. At Crossroads, we:
- support survivors and provide education and counselling for women and girls at risk, as well as outreach to traditional leaders and communities
- leverage digital technologies to encourage continued schooling for girls
- transform livelihoods for practitioners of Female Genital Mutilation while combating early and forced marriage and violence against girls through public awareness campaigns and alternative income generation such as sustainable farming
We will continue to strengthen capacity of African partners and create sustainable change with the use of our high calibre staff and volunteers as we build a movement of gender equality partners to propel equity and economic empowerment that aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
WHAT WE CAN DO TOGETHER
As a Crossroads supporter, your voice and your engagement are more important now than ever. You can:
- Register to attend our signature event, the International Day of the Girl Breakfast, on October 7th;
- Donate today to support the rights of women and girls;
- Learn more about the work we do and our areas of intervention.
Let us not turn our back on girls. Now not, not ever.