Just the Facts, Ma’am

Why do women and girls need our help?

The U.S. Census Bureau for 2010 reveals an austere gender disproportion that all too often remains under the radar:

  • Women make up 57.8 percent of poor adults.
  • Over 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010, including more than 7.5 million in extreme poverty (below half the federal poverty level).
  • More than four out of 10 lived in poverty last year.
  • Among Hispanic female-headed families, the rate spiked to over one in two.
  • Among black female-headed families it shot up to almost one in two.
  • More than one in five children lived in poverty in 2010, and more than half of poor children lived in female-headed families.

On a global level:

  • One in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime.
  • According to a recent report, of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked across international borders annually, 80 percent are female.
  • Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours but earn only 10 percent of the world’s income, and own less than 1 percent of the world’s property.
  • Of a total 550 million working poor, 330 million (60 percent) are women.
  • The United Nations estimates that globally women’s unpaid care is worth up to $11 trillion annually.
  • Two-thirds of the 880 million illiterate adults are women.
  • Of the more than 110 million children not in school, approximately 60 percent are girls.
  • By age 18, girls have received an average of 4.4 years less education than boys.
  • In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls have HIV rates up to five times higher than adolescent boys.
  • Pregnancies and childbirth-related health problems take the lives of nearly 146,000 teenage girls each year.
  • An estimated 450 million adult women in developing countries are stunted, a direct result of malnutrition in early life.
  • Two million girls and women are subjected to female genital mutilation every year, and thousands suffer needlessly from obstetric fistula.
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