FILE - Pakistani student Farah Muneeb sits with other students at a makeshift school set up by a volunteer in a park in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, Oct 11, 2012.
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For the past five years, October 11 has marked the International Day of the Girl.
The United Nations established the day to bring attention to the needs and difficulties that girls face around the world. It also calls for empowerment and improved rights of the world’s 1.1 billion girls.
The UN and other organizations say one in four girls gets married as a child. Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, a girl is violently killed.
The groups also note that more than 130 million girls are not able to attend school. And, in many conflict areas, girls are two times more likely to not get an education.
This week, the advocacy organization ONE published a list of the 10 hardest countries for girls to get an education. Nine of the countries were in Africa, south of the Saharan desert. Number one was South Sudan, where 73 percent of girls do not go to school. In Niger, number three on the list, only 17 percent of girls between the ages of 15 to 24 can read.
Afghanistan is next. It has the greatest gender difference in education. Just 71 girls go to primary school for every 100 boys.
Gayle Smith is president of the ONE campaign. She described the more than 130 million girls out of school as “potential engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and politicians whose leadership the world is missing out on.”
The ONE Campaign also reported this week that the number of girls not getting an education rose from 130.3 million to 130.9 million in the past year.
People marked the Day of the Girl on social media.
It was a trending topic worldwide on Twitter and Facebook. And on YouTube, a special Day of the Girl music video set to a Beyonce song trended, too. The song is “Freedom,” from Beyonce’s album, “Lemonade.”