29 Apr 2013
Life isn’t easy for women – anywhere in the world.
I grew up in Dois Riachos – a poor, remote town in the north-east of Brazil. Our family didn’t have much money; my mother worked hard to raise me and my two brothers and sister by herself. We couldn’t even afford a football – if we had bought one, we would have gone without food.
At the age of 7, I knew I wanted to play football for the rest of my life. But being a girl, the path wasn’t straightforward. Everyone from my brothers to the other boys on the field tried to stop me from playing. I was lucky enough to have the support of visionary people who helped me fulfill my dream of being a professional footballer.
So many women don’t have the opportunities I did.
Every year, 2 million women and girls are trafficked into prostitution, forced slavery and servitude.
Up to 60 percent of women experience some form of physical or sexual abuse during their life – and as many as half of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 18.
This kind of violence is happening on all corners of the earth. Women living in poverty are even more vulnerable to this kind of abuse and exploitation. These women could be future teachers, community leaders, artists, journalists, engineers, doctors – but their dreams are being cut short.
Ensuring women have equal rights isn’t just the right thing to do – it makes sense. When women have equal access to education and jobs, they go on to participate fully in decision making, having greater control of their public AND private life.
Let’s be a part of the movement to break the cycle of violence that keeps millions of women from reaching their full potential.
Your voice and your support are crucial plays needed to meet the greater goal of stopping violence against women worldwide.
Join the campaign to #stoptheviolence.
- 24 Sep 2015:Helen Clark: Opening Remarks at the Final Meeting and Launch of Final Report of the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender
- 29 Aug 2015:Helen Clark: Speech at World Assembly of Women on “Women’s Empowerment through Sanitation”
- 28 Aug 2015:Helen Clark: Speech at World Assembly of Women on “Gender Equality and Women’s Leadership”