Each refugee-producing situation is different and could be caused by a range of catalysts, including war, political unrest, terrorism or even climate change. However, within each situation, there is one constant: that the needs of girls consistently go unheard and unmet.
750 million women alive today were married as children; more than one in three before they were 15 years old. Over the next 30 years, it's estimated that at least 280 million more girls under 18 will be married. The numbers are staggering. But behind each statistic is a child robbed of the right to make their own critical choices in life, to determine their own destiny, and to realize their full potential.
What most athletes don't think about as they're competing is our responsibility after the big win. I didn't realize at the time that an Olympic medal would mean I could one day make a difference in the world, just by lending my name to a cause.
Deaths as a result of unsafe abortions are preventable. Unfortunately, the Canadian government has no intention of saving women's lives through the provision of access to safe abortion services. The government will not fund safe abortion services in its overseas initiatives, as part of Canada's contribution to the 2010 Muskoka Initiative on maternal and child health. In addition, they also refuse to provide funding to organizations that would give women and girls referrals to safe abortion services. Canada's refusal to fund abortion services, even in cases of rape as a weapon of war and for young women and girls in early and forced marriage, is unacceptable. The WHO clearly states that in countries where there are few restrictions on the availability of safe abortion services, deaths and illness are dramatically reduced.
In Canada, most teenage girls are busy going to school, making friends, dreaming of the future. In the world's poorest countries, one in every nine girls is married by the age of 15. A new World Vision report explores the devastation this can cause in a young girl's life.