International Day of the Girl

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On the International Day of the Girl, Reall shares five reasons why decent housing empowers girls in Africa and Asia

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1. Health: Globally, malaria kills 600 girls a day. Infection is strongly linked to poor housing. Girls living in improved homes with metal roofs and concrete walls are much less likely to get infected with malaria than girls living in informal settlements.

2. Education: Decent housing enables girls to attend and perform better at school. Building homes close to schools, with electricity to do homework in the evening, provides girls the best chance to break out of poverty.

3. Water: 75% of households in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have a water supply and the burden of water collection often falls to girls. On average, a girl walks 6km a day to fetch water which is often unsafe to drink. Providing piped clean water frees up time for education, improves health and means girls are no longer at risk of violence and sexual assault whilst collecting water.

4. Safety and Security: Quality homes with sanitation and services mean girls don’t have to use outdoor public toilets. In India, 30% of reported sexual assaults happen when women and girls go outside to use the toilet.

5. Period Poverty: Adequate homes can help end period poverty, which robs girls of their dignity and education. It’s estimated that one in 10 girls in Africa miss school during their period from lack of access to toilets and washrooms. Decent housing provides hygienic spaces where girls can manage their period without shame or stigma.

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