07 March 2016

International Women’s Day: 10 quick facts on girls


NEW YORK, 7 March 2015 – To mark International Women’s Day and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on women’s empowerment, UNICEF presents a statistical snapshot of progress and trends for girls and women.

Water and sanitation
  • At least 500 million women and girls lack a private place to change their sanitary protection during menstruation. This is equivalent to every female living in developed countries. 
Child protection
  • Close to half of all girls aged 15-19 worldwide, around 126 million, think a husband is sometimes justified in hitting or beating his wife. 
  • Globally, 1 in 4 young women alive today were married in childhood versus 1 in 3 in the early 1980s. In the Middle East and North Africa, the percentage of women married before age 18 has dropped by about half during the last three decades. 
  • The overall chance that a girl will undergo Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting today is about one third lower than it was three decades ago.