Today, the 11th July 2016 is World Population Day.
Every year, the United Nations chooses a theme. It is a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of varied population issues. And this year’s theme is ‘Investing in teenage girls.’
The team at Backpacker Medics loves this cause, as it is something that we have been trying to invest in since our conception.
Teenage girls, not only in third would countries but around the world, face enormous challenges. Education, puberty, friendships, identity… the list goes on! All of these are a part of growing up and learning! However, add to the mix being considered by your communities or parents to be ready for marriage and motherhood. Or being forced to leave school. This is the reality in Nepal. Even among girls who stay in school, access to basic information about their health, human and reproductive rights can be hard to come by, leaving them vulnerable to illness, injury and exploitation. These challenges are exacerbated among marginalised girls, particularly those who live in remote communities such as Kerasawara.
In Nepal, only 50% of women receive any kind of antenatal care.Female infanticide remains a common practice (as does female sale into slavery), and more than 40% of children are married before the age of 18.
Yet when teenage girls are empowered, when they know about their rights and are given the tools to succeed, they become agents of positive change in their communities. This is what we do at Backpacker Medics. One of our major achievements this year was launching our Women’s Health initiative in February 2016, showing our commitment to investing in our young ladies!
If you want to help us to continue our investment in our girls, jump onto our website and donate here.