Setting a national priority

Sexual violence against girls is an underlying driver of many of the world’s most intractable problems. It contributes to spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, to teenage pregnancy, to teen mothers dying in childbirth, and to children being born orphaned and highly vulnerable.

It undermines overall economic development of countries, because girls who are protected and educated contribute disproportionately back to their communities and societies, advancing overall economic growth, but girls who are sexually violated are more likely to drop out of school. It is a linchpin to all these problems. There are studies and data demonstrating all of this.

"We would never tolerate this if it were happening to our own daughters or granddaughters. But the world tolerates this happening to 150 million girls annually, most of whom haven’t even reached their 15th birthday."

A tolerated injustice

This is over and above the simple fact that sexual violence against girls is a gross injustice and human rights violation. After being subjected to sexual violence, girls are more likely to engage in substance abuse and high risk sexual behaviors, to suffer from depression, and to contemplate suicide. They are sent down a distorted life path that they may never recover from. In some places, it takes their life away entirely.

We would never tolerate this if it were happening to our own daughters or granddaughters. But the world tolerates this happening to 150 million girls annually, most of whom haven’t even reached their 15th birthday.

Agent of change

Ending sexual violence against girls must be pursued as a national priority in countries throughout the world. This is why we formed Together for Girls. As progress is made,you’ll see more girls reaching their individual potential... enabling their families, communities and societies to reach their collective potential.

You’ll see HIV transmission rates going down, maternal mortality declining, negatives turning to positives... because girls will be learning, contributing, and thriving. Ideas, driven by collective consciousness, are the most powerful agent of change in the world. This is an idea that’s time has come.