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As the mother of a teenage daughter, I spend a lot of time watching how society at large can put pressure on our kids.  More than ever, kids are forced to face what were formerly adult issues.  I live in suburban America, and there are girls that my daughter goes to school with that have been sexually active since the seventh grade.

These children are not from poverty-stricken families.  They are not without the resources to prevent pregnancy.  My daughter knew two girls that got pregnant in the eighth grade.  Neither girl could honestly say that they were forced to have sex or that they didn’t have access to protection.  These girls, while facing hardship and a very different road than many of their classmates, do not face the same perils of girls around the world.  Neither girl was forced to marry the father of their child.  Neither had to drop out of school, and neither resorted to prostitution to provide for their babies.

To know that there are places in the world where girls don’t have choices, or education or protection is enough to enrage a parent.  Television shows that glamorize teen pregnancy and trivialize the very idea of becoming a woman take away from the crisis faced by girls in underdeveloped countries.  It’s time to allow our children to be children, and to see the world’s daughters are our daughters.

The Girl Effect is a campaign to spread the word and to begin to raise our daughters up, to break them out of the cycle of poverty.  While we must start at home, we must also look outward to the world at large.  Providing a means for education is the most important place to start.

As a mother, my first instinct is to my own child; but, in watching a sampling of the videos on The Girl Effect site, the mother in me stirs to want to protect the girls that have not had someone to act for them.  I was fortunate.  It was expected that I would go to college and get a well-rounded education.  I expect the same of my children, and I intend to see that they have the opportunity to complete that education.  There should be no question that every child should have the opportunity to learn and to improve their situation.

As part of The Girl Effect campaign, I start here, by spreading the word.  From here, I intend to get involved on a larger level, and to include my children in this.  Awareness of the wider world, and the ability to help is something I am gaining.  To give girls a chance to raise themselves up, we raise ourselves up, as well.

You can join, too!  Help us to raise girls up from poverty –  The Girl Effect.  Join the conversation, and help to spread the word.  Together, we can make a difference and effect the change that girls around the world need.

To read posts by other amazing bloggers participating in The Girl Effect, or to write your own post, visit:  http://www.taramohr.com/girleffectposts/