NEW YORK, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A global children's non-profit has applauded U.N. policymakers in New York for recognizing Oct.11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.
Nigel Chapman, chief executive officer of the non-profit group Plan International, said being born a girl can leave a child at a huge disadvantage -- in the poorest societies, a girl faces greater risk of malnutrition, hunger and disease compared with her brothers. A girl will have fewer opportunities for an education and career, and in many developing countries, 1-of-7 girls marry before age 15, Chapman said.
Research has shown that investing in girls and young women has a disproportionately beneficial effect in alleviating poverty -- not only for girls but for their families, communities and countries. Girls who spend an extra year at school will on average increase their lifetime income by 10 percent to 20 percent, Chapman said.
"By designating Oct. 11 as Day of the Girl, we are all agreeing to put a special focus on the rights of girls throughout the world," Chapman said in a statement. "We know that in many countries girls get left behind in all areas of life from school to work, and many are prevented from fulfilling their true potential by severe discrimination and prejudice."