Being a girl in many societies is not easy. If they are a from a family that has limited means and live in a place where education is not free they might be passed over so that a male sibling can go to school. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737

If the goal is for girls to grow up with the best chance at living with a high quality of life then there are many barriers that can stand in her way particularly when she lives in the developing world. For example some girls might have to deal with the possibility of being forced into a marriage when they are still children.

This can happen in part because some societies have cultural practices that involve a man paying a dowry or a bride price for the person he is interested in marrying. For a poor family this bride price can offer some hope of financial relief at the price of their daughter’s autonomy and mental and emotional well being. An early marriage can lead to an early pregnancy and girls who get pregnant as teenagers are often at risk of dying in childbirth.

Humanitarian organizations like the international relief and development organization CARE are on the frontlines of the battle to advocate for the advancement of women and girls whose lives are impacted by gender inequality and poverty throughout the developing world.

While girls can face many roadblocks on their path through adolescence to adulthood there is one factor that can help ensure that they have a fighting chance at a bright future. That factor is education. Read more: Phoenix New Time

To those who had the benefit of living in a country where free public education is available the transformative power that education has in the life of a girl who is living in poverty might seem to be unfathomable. One might find themselves asking how can education alone solve issues like maternal mortality or teen pregnancy?

While the opportunity to go to school without a hassle is commonplace in many countries that ease is not afforded to all school age children around the world. In the case of girls some of them might not always be able to attend school on a consistent basis because the facilities are in disrepair, their families cannot afford to consistently pay mandatory school fees or they live in a community where girls are not allowed to come to school while they are menstruating.

These various barriers whether they are economic or associated with taboos around women’s bodily functions can mean that a young girl may have gaps in her education which makes learning important skills like literacy and numeracy and being prepared to complete high school and pursue college even more difficult. CARE has programs in various developing countries that are designed to help keep girls in school.

Like CARE the nonprofit The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund is also dedicated to helping people who lack resources get access to the tools that can improve their lives. The organization was created by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey who started it using money that they were awarded in a court settlement. Today the organization helps to fund vital work being done by non-profits that focus on the issues facing Hispanic communities.