Girls Discovered: Global Maps of Adolescent Girls
What do we know about girls?
We know that girls aged 10-24 years comprise 13% of the global population. We know that the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation is widest in Somalia, where 98% of women and adolescent girls aged 15-49 years have been genitally mutilated or cut. We even know that 80% of young women between the ages of 20-24 years have no education in Niger. These are things we know through reports and publications based on the hard work done by research organizations. But what can we do with this information?
Girls Discovered created a one-stop shop for compelling and accessible statistics on girls in order to increase the visibility of the issues girls worldwide face, and ultimately strengthen advocacy for these girls.
In late 2009, Girls Discovered, in partnership with the Nike Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Maplecroft and an advisory panel of experts, launched their website "Global Maps of Adolescent Girls" which actually compiles information based on a series of topics (for example, health and wellbeing, education and economic opportunities to name a few). The site offers 200 virtual and interactive maps with more than 100 global indicators with easy to understand statistical information about girls in one country, region or continent, which you can then compare to girls in other countries, regions or continents.
The site also has other useful content, such as “Sunita’s Story,” a look into one scenario of what it is like to grow up a young girl in poverty. There is also a “Take Action” Tab, which outlines how one can get involved in advocacy for girls, and information on local and national Indian issues as well as a guide to critical gaps in global data.
The most interactive aspect of this new site, however, is the “Create Your Own Map” option. As the website states, you can, “Create your own map by selecting any two indicators from a list of over 200 datasets. Choose how you want to view your map; select a side-by-side layout to compare data on girls at different ages, or to compare the status of girls and boys. Select the overlay option to view two datasets on one global map and identify hotspots of vulnerability for girls.”
I decided to test this aspect out with comparative maps about children who are never in school on a global scale from ages 10-14, based on gender. This was the map I came up with:
Clearly, Girls Discovered is a great new research tool that will undoubtedly enable us to better understand what the girls of the world face today.