We are so excited for the UN's International Day of the Girl, coming up on October 11. As a day dedicated to recognizing the immense potential of girls, we connected with Activyst, an athletic apparel company that donates a portion of proceeds to support girls' sports programs worldwide, to learn more about their programs and how we can all improve the conditions of girls around the world.
In honor of this amazing event, Activystrecently launched a new t-shirt line. Each shirt will help outfit a female runner with Girls Gotta Run Foundation in Ethiopia, providing clothes, shoes, and other track gear. Between now and October 11, some of their supporters will also be running races or otherwise being active while wearing this shirt, and then uploading photos to FB and instagram with #StrongGirls and #IDG2013 to raise awareness.
At Momtrends we know how important it is to stay active. Blair Warner, Co-Founder, Activyst spoke with us about this and noted, "We all know what it feels like to be active--the rush of adrenaline, the team camaraderie, and the sense of accomplishment from achieving a fitness goal. For women, the benefits of being active, and playing sports in particular, are well documented."
She also spoke about how studies consistently demonstrate that a girl who plays sports is:
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- Healthier: She is less likely to get pregnant, be in an abusive relationship, or engage in risky sexual behavior. She is less likely to smoke or use drugs, and has reduced risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other health complications.
- More Educated: She achieves higher levels of education, has higher attendance in school, and performs better in school, leading to increased work opportunities.
- Happier and More Confident: She is less likely to suffer depression, and has higher self-confidence and improved body image. She gains skills such as leadership, goal attainment, teamwork, and resilience. She makes friends and finds female role models.
These benefits are desperately needed for girls globally, because the fact of the matter is that it is tough to be a girl in most countries of the world. Girls struggle with:
- Adolescent Pregnancy: 95% of teen pregnancies occur in developing countries, where maternal mortality is a leading cause of death for teens.
- Abuse: 1 in 3 females worldwide have been physically or sexually abused, with women in developing countries more heavily affected.
- Poor Health: Females make up 3/4 of teen HIV cases. Breast and other cancers, heart disease, and other chronic diseases are leading causes of death among females worldwide.
- Illiteracy: 70% of the world’s out-of-school youth are girls. Women are less likely than men to be literate, with 2/3 of illiterate individuals being women.
- Poverty: Females represent 70% of the world’s poor and control 1% of the world’s wealth.
- Lack of International Aid: Less than half a cent of each development dollar goes to girls.
And these issues have a ripple effect. When girls suffer, so does society; disease, illiteracy, birth rates, maternal mortality, and health costs soar. On the other hand, healthy, educated, successful girls pass these traits on to their children, and reinvest skills and capital in their communities. This is why authorities in the international development community agree: the fastest path to eradicating poverty is to help girls. It's no surprise that the United Nations is focusing on the plight of girls, and created the International Day of the Girl on October 11.
To learn more about how you can help girls play sports, or about Activyst and their charity partners, and get a cute bag in the process, check out: www.activyst.com
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