If all of the ten-year-old girls living in developing countries that currently drop out of or do not attend school were to complete their secondary education, it would lead to an additional $21 billion per year, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed today in its annual State of the World Population Report.
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The world's future will be determined by the fate of its 10-year-old girls. Age 10 is the beginning of adolescence, when girls start to see life's possibilities expanding - or contracting. As these girls approach puberty, they may begin to exercise more independence and explore new interests.
MAKONDE, Zimbabwe - Three years ago, Sibongile Majaura was on the cusp of dropping out of school, a misfortune all too familiar to girls in Zimbabwe. But she has defied the odds. With just a little investment and a lot of ingenuity, she was able to start a thriving business and return to school.
Women do not stop giving birth when disaster strikes. Every day, about 500 women die of childbirth-related causes in humanitarian emergencies or fragile settings. Yet women's reproductive health needs are not considered priorities in humanitarian response.
NAMPULA Mozambique - "Before I entered the safe space, I was shy, and it was difficult for me to express myself. I spent my free time after school with vulnerable girlfriends my age who had left school to marry, and some were even pregnant," 16-year-old Amelia Abadala Salimo told UNFPA.
SA'ADA, Yemen - Civilian fatalities are mounting in Yemen, with some of the deadliest episodes of violence taking place in the last two months. UNFPA estimates over 400,000 pregnant women are caught in the conflict, requiring essential and sometimes urgent health services. Sa'ada Governorate has seen some of the worst of this fighting.
KAMPALA, Uganda - Talking about sexual and reproductive health is not easy, especially in the conservative corners of Uganda. But the girls of Buddo Secondary School found a powerful way to address the issue: poetry.
KHANKE, Iraq - "Do not blame me for repeating my story, as what happened to me is the unforgettable story of my life," Golleh*, a Yazidi woman, said. She had been abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or Da'esh), and enslaved for eight months.
Funk music stars from Brazil's favela communities are calling for people to "get together for more rights, less zika" in their newest single. The band, Dream Team do Passinho, partnered with UNFPA to produce the song, which has been a hit among concert-goers and on Brazilian radio.
Yangon, Myanmar - Midwife Daw Aye Myint is the first health professional to ever be based in Htamakaut, a remote village in the rural Magway region. She arrived there only 11 months ago. Risks are high for mothers and infants in the area, where reproductive health care is sorely lacking.