IBB, Yemen - Last year, Ayisha was married at only 13 years old. She delivered a baby several weeks ago - a girl. "My family forced me to get married and took me out of school," she told UNFPA while recuperating from childbirth. She was crying; the new reality of her situation weighed heavily on her.
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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.
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.
Concerted global efforts have led to a 60% drop in new infections among children, which has averted 1.2 million new HIV infections among children in 21 priority countries since 2009.