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Quiz: Could you survive as a girl growing up in poverty?

On International Day of the Girl Child, discover how much you know about the challenges girls face.


Could you survive as a girl growing up in poverty?

Today is International Day of the Girl Child, an opportunity to celebrate the power and potential of girls everywhere. Globally, girls face many unique challenges from discrimination, inequality and gender-based violence, for no other reason than being born a girl.

How much do you know about the challenges girls face in the countries where we work? Take our quiz to find out.

1. You've just turned 16 and your best friend has stopped going to school because she recently got married. How many girls are married under the age of 18 every year?

Child marriage is defined as a formal marriage or informal union before the age of 18. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 and poverty is often one of the main drivers for child marriage.

Child brides are more at risk of violence and exploitation. They are less likely to remain in school, more likely to experience domestic violence, and have a higher risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth.

Find out how Compassion is protecting girls in Mexico>

Source: Girls not brides

2. It's a new term and you're looking forward to catching up with your classmates and studying your favourite subjects. Compared to boys, how many girls will never get the chance to start school?

Globally, twice as many girls than boys will never start school. 15 million girls of primary school age will never get the opportunity to learn to read or write in primary school.

Providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty: educated women are less likely to marry young and against their will, less likely to die in childbirth, more likely to have healthy babies, and more likely to send their children to school.

Source: UNESCO and The Guardian

3. Every day you get up before sunrise so you can help your mother with chores before school. Girls and boys spend about the same amount of time working to help their families – true or false?

Girls tend to work longer hours than boys. While boys are more likely to get paid for their work, girls generally carry out domestic chores or unpaid housework like caring for younger siblings. The 2016 World Population Report found that 10% of five- to 14-year-old girls do more than 28 hours of household chores a week, twice that of boys.

Source: UNFPA

4. Your mother never got the chance to go to secondary school, but you’re determined to stay in school until graduation. How much does a girl’s income increase for every extra year of education?

Each year of education delivers an additional 11.7% increase in wages in later life for girls compared with 9.6% for men. Providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty and what's more, a woman is likely to invest 70 percent of her earnings back into the family.

Source: The Guardian

5. Your older sister underwent FGM at a young age but the staff at your Compassion project have been educating your family on the harmful consequences of this practice and things will be different for you. But how many of your peers across the world have experienced FGM?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a violation of human rights and is almost always carried out on girls younger than 15. More than 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced FGM and those living in poverty are often most vulnerable.

At Compassion, through culturally sensitive programmes delivered by local churches who understand their community's social customs and challenges, children and their families are educated on the dangers of FGM.

Source: WHO

6. You love attending your local Compassion project every Saturday where you get to play with your friends in a safe and protective environment. But how many girls will experience violence in their lifetime?

One in three women and girls will experience abuse in their lifetime. Violence can include: child marriage and FGM, as well as gender-based violence and psychological abuse, including bullying and harassment. Find out more about how Compassion projects protect children>

Source: World Bank

7. Your father has just lost his job. You want to help your family and you know someone who can get you a domestic job in the next city, they say it’s a great opportunity. But when you tell your project worker they speak to your parents and explain the dangers. What percentage of all trafficking victims are estimated to be women and girls?

1.2 million children are trafficked each year and women and girls account for 75 per cent of all trafficking victims. When a family is gripped by poverty and desperate for survival, they become vulnerable to the exploitation of child trafficking.

Our programmes provide children and their families with training in recognising abuse in all its forms along with close monitoring of child attendance and home visits.

Source: UNICEF

8. Your friend looks scared, she has just got her first period and doesn’t know what to do. In your community menstruation is shrouded in confusion and stigma. How many girls in Ghana knew nothing about menstruation before getting their first period?

Stigma and taboo around menstruation directly affects a girl’s dignity, confidence and self-esteem. Such taboos include not being able to touch animals or food that others will eat or exclusion from religious rituals or even from the family home.

Many girls are deterred from school or might drop out completely when they start menstruating, due to lack of sanitation facilities, separate toilets or access to affordable sanitary products. Read more about the menstruation taboo>

Source: Wateraid

WORDS : Jennie Taylor

PHOTOS : Ryan Johnson


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