All Kidding Aside…

There is a crisis happening with girls in the world. As a woman who’s hoping to a be a mama someday (not to mention, just being human), I can’t help but be concerned. And I think you should be, too.

Over 600 million girls under the age of 13 are denied education, safety, health, power and choice every day and in every way. Think that doesn’t effect you? Think again. The ripple effect is not only personal, it’s local (thank you Nike)and it’s global.

Today I’m writing as part of a collaborative effort, via the inspiring Tara Mohr, to raise awareness on the growing epidemic and The Girl Effect.

The Girl Effect is defined as the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.

Wanna know what I mean? Lookie here:

  • When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more
    years of education, she marries four years later in life and has 2.2
    fewer children.
  • An extra year of primary school boosts her eventual wages
    by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school:
    15 to 25 percent.

  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent
    of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40
    percent for men.
  • Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth,
    70 percent are girls.

  • One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries
    become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to
    19 give birth in developing countries each year.
  • One girl in seven in developing countries marries before
    age 15.

    Want more facts? Check it out.

    In the meantime, can you imagine having dreams of being a doctor but at age 11 you are engaged… you just don’t know it yet? This short video utterly astounds me every time.

    When I was asked to write this piece I realized how proud I am to live in Portland, OR, headquarters to the Nike Foundation. The Nike Foundation and NoVo Foundation share a mission: to create opportunities for girls in the world. Thanks to Portland’s Wieden + Kennedy for the equally committed work on this totally rad video.

    Worth the 3 minutes, right?

    I’ve been totally absorbed in my life, lately. Admittedly so. That’s part of how life goes, right? But when I stop to watch the videos, read what my peers have to say on the matter, and educate myself even the tiniest bit, something deep inside me begins to surge. I get out of my world and into something far, far bigger than I’ll ever be. Possibility becomes present. Will I be the next UN ambassador? Nope. Likely not. But will I think twice about where I give my money this year? Will I start to take just bit more of a stand when it comes to girls’ power? Will I speak up about these sobering facts even when it’s not polite or popular to do so? Especially when? You bet. And in the end, if we all did just any bit of the above… we’d cause a massive ripple effect that would change girls lives and our global economy. Forever.

    So, whatchya gonna do? Lucky for you, you’ve got some options: Read a bit. Watch a video.
    Give something. Or, write your own post, add it here and join a wave that will change the world.

    Big, BIG love,

    P.S. If you want to Tweet about this, there’ll be buzz all week, particularly given November 20th is International Children’s Day. Just use #girleffect and you’re good to go.


    1. Posted November 16, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Hi Regina,

      Trying to leave comments on all the GE blogs! I like restoring power — that’s the key to living a fulfilling life. When we help up others we inevitably help up ourselves — that’s why I’m really excited to assist girls all over the world with education or the purchase of a cow or anything else they need.

      Loved Kidan’s story. She will be a doctor! We all just need to make that happen.

      Thx, Giulietta

    2. Regina Perata
      Posted November 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Giulietta! What an honor to be a part of this project. I LOVE your post on paying it forward and for $60 getting young girls our of poverty and breaking the cycle. Very cool. It’s good to be a partner with you here. :)

    3. Posted November 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      so wonderful to read your writing and peer into your world and share this mission with you!

    4. Regina Perata
      Posted November 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Likewise, Jennifer! I have LOVED following you the past year and so honored to be a part of this Girl Effect rising with you, too. xo

    5. Jana
      Posted November 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi Regina, taking time to read blogs out of my crazy working mom schedule (between the CA bay area and Sierra Foothills) and taking care of my two GIRLS, this caught my eye, I couldn’t resist. Love the message, I’m going to show Ava, my almost 10-year old.. how empowering! I think that I’ve always thought that the fate of the world really relies on women and how well we can control/impact our family size and community. Some people think that’s a “feminist” idea, whatever that means these days. It’s really evident, though, isn’t it?

    6. Regina Perata
      Posted November 18, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Jana, EXACTLY! Thanks for your thoughts…it’s so great to hear from you. I hope you, your fabulous husband and your two crazy cute girls are all well. I can hardly believe Ava is 10 already! I love that you are going to show this to her. Here’s to your being an amazing mama. xo

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