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Today Miriam Temin and I responded to a critique of Nike’s “Girl Effect” campaign posted on William Easterly’s AIDWATCH blog (check it out here).
As our readers know, Miriam and former Senior Fellow Ruth Levine co-authored the reports Girls Count and Start With A Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health in 2009, arguing that the cycle of neglect of girls’ rights, poor health and education indicators, meager economic options, and the generation-to-generation transmission of poverty can be broken by focused investments in policies and programs that meet girls’ needs. These arguments were simplified in a Nike Foundation campaign video that quickly went viral on the internet.
You’d think this would be relatively uncontroversial, given the strength and extent of the underlying evidence. But Anna Carella’s critique on AIDWATCH has been plenty popular with 40 comments (a lot in aid-blog-world!). So we jumped into the fray. Join us!
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.
When the Lancet published “Global patterns of mortality in young people: a systematic analysis of population health data” by George Patton et al., it brought into the public domain new data to tell an important story: adolescent boys and girls are at risk during this transitional life phase, and those risks have major implications for the health and well-being of this and the next generation.
The article highlights just how much boys’ and girls’ lives diverge with adolescence and how gender fundamentally affects health. Traffic accidents cause 14 percent of deaths among males 10-24 years old deaths but only 5 percent of female deaths; violence causes 12 percent of male deaths but doesn’t even feature in the “top ten” for females. For girls and young women, the major causes of death are maternal factors, at 15 percent.
This week The New York Times Magazine is dedicated to a single theme: women. The main attraction of this special issue is a stirring essay by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, who write passionately about the great moral, national security and economic development imperatives of investing in the world’s women and girls. The “women’s crusade” they call for seems already to have begun. A few pages beyond, an interview with Secretary Clinton heralds the start of a “new gender agenda” at the highest reaches of the U.S. foreign policy. Also noted is the growing philanthropic attention to the cause of women and girls – a trend that will be further evidenced next month, when the issue headlines at the annual (Bill) Clinton Global Initiative meetings in NYC.