What you need to know about the life of an average 10-year-old girl around the world

Think back to your childhood. What did your day look like when you were a 10-year old girl? Maybe you’re imagining yourself sitting in a classroom, learning fractions, sticking your homework in a Lisa Frank Binder, and heading home to watch a Disney Channel Original Movie.

You probably noticed you were treated differently than your brothers. You might have experienced abuse. Maybe you grew up in a middle class household, so you never had to wonder if you were eating dinner that night. Maybe your family experienced bouts of homelessness, and things weren’t as easy.

The experiences of all little girls around the world are unique and important -- and in order to help young girls flourish and survive in an often hostile world, we need to know how they are commonly struggling.

Thanks to the United Nations Population Fund annual report released earlier today, we now have insight into the average struggles and lived experiences of 10-year-old girls.

While the report studies the entirety of our planet’s population, it especially talks about what the average 10-year-old girl goes through. As the UN explains, the success of our world depends on how these girls are treated and supported. Glamour broke down a few of the most significant statistics revealed by the UN report.

She is surviving poverty and experiences inequality.

35 million 10-year-old girls reside in countries where women are legally unequal to men, and 90 percent of them are growing up in “underdeveloped” countries.

She cannot easily access education.

This is an infuriating —  but not surprising — statistic. The report tells us that more than 50 MILLION 10-year-old girls are not currently enrolled in school, and 16 MILLION girls will never receive an education. Of course, the report notes that this number is double what it is for boys. false

She grows up around violence.

This is an absolutely devastating statistic. According to the UN report, a third of 10-year-old girls have already survived some type of violence. That’s likely responsible for another utterly heartbreaking finding about the average young girl — the second-leading cause of death in the demographic is suicide.

She does more housework than the men in her family.

This is likely not a surprise to folks reading, as many of us grew up watching our mothers perform the “second shift” of chores after they came home from work, or we were forced to take on those gender roles ourselves. The UN report said that 10 percent of girls, ages ranging from 5-14 years old, perform housework for more than 28 hours per week (and 75 percent of them are not paid for it).

Girls are so strong. We must support them and lift up their voices as our world continues to strive for their safety and equality.

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