Girls and women hardest hit by recession, reveals report
21 January 2013: Girls are bearing the brunt of the global economic recession – being more likely to experience poverty, reduced life expectancy and drop out of school, according to a new report from Plan and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
Long standing economic trends, entrenched gender inequality and austerity budgets have all taken their toll - leavng girls and their families with fewer resources and reduced access to services.
The research shows that a drop in a country's economic output leaves girls more likely to die before they reach age 5 than boys.
Food shortages and malnutrition are more common among girls, while women reduce their own food consumption to become ‘shock absorbers’ for household security.
As women work longer hours for less money, more girls are pushed out of school and into filling the gaps at home with domestic chores, into hazardous child labour or even sex work.
World is failing girls
Plan Chief Executive Officer Nigel Chapman, who is launching the report and chairing a panel on 'Girls and the Digital Divide' at the World Economic Forum* this week, said:
“It is little surprise that the most vulnerable suffer more in times of austerity but to see the impact in higher mortality rates, reduced life expectancy, less opportunities and greater risks for girls and boys is stark.
“The world is failing girls and women. They need more targeted support in social protection, job creation and education if we are to turn the tide of this trend and close this unacceptable and growing gap.”
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