Globally, it’s estimated that twice as many girls as boys will never start school.
Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate people.
Each year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 will be married across the globe.
60% of chronically hungry people around the world are women or girls.
In India, nearly 50% of women experience violence in their own homes.
ACROSS THE WORLD, MILLIONS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN STAND BEFORE LOCKED DOORS, DENIED THE SAME RIGHTS AS BOYS AND MEN.
Rather than being valued, they are seen as a burden – less capable, less intelligent, weaker. As a result, young women are often unable to gain a proper education, access resources or have autonomy over their lives – all because they are ‘just a girl’.
In Nagpur, India, Sikander and his wife Sindhu never wanted a girl. They went on to have five children, each time trying to conceive a boy. But each time they gave birth, it was to a girl. First was Ruchika, then Ruzail, Komal, Khushi and Suhani.
“In India, the boy is considered the higher of the house,” says Sikander. “I felt I needed a boy to help me provide in the future.”
But as Sindhu and Sikander watched their daughters grow, they realised something. They realised just how incredible the girls – and others like them – were. They were driven, capable, intelligent and strong. They were different to everything they had been told by society they were.
Sindhu and Sikander knew that education was the key that could unlock the door to a brighter future for their girls. But as a low-caste family living in a slum community, they struggled to keep their girls in school.
Hope came in the form of a small loan from Opportunity International Australia which allowed Sikander to invest in an auto-rickshaw business. His income increased, enabling the family to afford the food, clothing and medicine they had previously gone without. But there was still a problem. The girls’ schools, while public, required full fee payments at the start of each term. Even though the family’s income was improving, they had no way of paying a lump sum of that size, no matter how modest it was.
That was until they heard about the education loans being offered by Opportunity, made possible by someone like you. The loans enabled them to pay school fees and buy books and uniforms at the start of each term. The door had been unlocked.
Like girls everywhere, Sindhu and Sikander’s daughters have dreams. Now, because of the power of education, they have voices. They talk about how they want to make a difference.
“My dream is to be a doctor,” says 17-year-old daughter Khushi. “I have wanted to help people since I was a child.”
You can help reach out to women and girls, providing them with access to the education, healthcare and resources they have previously been denied.
YOU CAN UNLOCK A DOOR FOR A GIRL BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
Through Opportunity, you can unlock doors for women and girls across the globe
- Small loans empower women to grow their own businesses and earn regular incomes
- Education loans enable girls to go to school when they otherwise couldn’t afford it
- Health leader training gives women and girls life-saving knowledge on nutrition, sanitation and illness prevention
- Programs focusing on women’s rights help put an end to domestic violence, exploitation and the sex trafficking of girls.
Education loans enabled Komal, Khushi, Suhani, Ruchika and Ruzail to go to school and gain vital training and knowledge for their future.
Ruchika (26 yrs) – wants to be a civil engineer
“I consider girls as equal to boys – we need to change people’s thinking. If we can bring change in society then we can give girls a safe and secure life. I want girls to have freedom.”
Ruzail (24 yrs) – wants to be an entrepreneur
“I really want girls to break the social norms and lies. I don’t want girls to self-question and self-doubt. I dream of a future where girls can lead the world, grab opportunities and rise to teach the people.”
Komal (23 yrs) – wants to be a bank manager
“I believe when doors are unlocked for girls they can bring changes at their home. They can also change their thinking in their environment and change the mindset of others.”
Khushi (17 yrs) – wants to be a doctor
“Even today in some states, girls are not allowed to study. They are kept at home for household work. My wish is that all girls can come out from feeling trapped and study well.”
Suhani (13 yrs) – wants to be a government official
“Girls should be allowed to study – every girl should be educated. I dream of a future where girls can explore – they can excel in every field and bring a great transformation to their country.”
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