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Changing the World With the Power of Girls
As a 21-year-old woman in the United States, I have many opportunities to share my opinions, ideas, and thoughts. Sadly, many women and girls live in countries where they are not allowed to speak their minds -- places where their freedom of speech is repressed. However, organizations such as the G(irls) 20 Summit are working to change this as they invite young women, ages 18 to 20, from around the world to voice their opinions as they gather to freely discuss issues relevant to them and their countries.
A delegate from each of the G-20 countries and the African Union are selected to participate in the event. At the G-20 Summit, the leaders of powerful countries discuss global economics and the policies that govern them. The girls invited to attend the G(irls) 20 Summit will have a similar agenda. The delegates discuss innovative ideas that will help empower girls and women globally. While the agenda is the same for the G20 Summit and focuses on economic advancement, all of the participants are girls. What an amazing opportunity for these young women! It is such a wonderful chance for them to make a difference despite their youth, race, or gender.
As an intern at Bread for the World, I see first-hand the importance of economic stability in order to break the shackles of hunger and poverty. As a woman, I also understand how a society’s treatment of women can affect its economy. When women are respected and educated, poverty decreases. As Elizabeth Gibbons said in a speech several years ago, “Education for girls is the key to the health and nutrition of populations; to overall improvements in the standard of living; to better agricultural and environmental practices; to higher Gross National Product; and to greater involvement and gender balance in decision-making at all levels of society.” Although great strides are being made around the globe to provide equal opportunity for women, there is more work be done.
Bread for the World is proud to partner with the G(irls) 20 Summit this year. One of the issues the young women will be discussing is food security. Nearly 1 billion people in the world don’t get enough to eat and many of them are women and children. Food insecurity is also very closely linked to malnutrition, which is a key issue for Bread for the World. Children, especially those younger than 2, are at special risk of hunger and malnutrition. The 1,000 days from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday are the most crucial for a child’s development. But many women around the world don’t have access to proper nutrition for themselves or their children. Without proper nutrition during this critical period, children can suffer permanent cognitive and physical delays.
Even though I won’t be attending the G(irls) 20 Summit, I’m still planning to support people intent on changing the world, one girl at a time.
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