Fact sheet

  • An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have experienced some form of sexual violence involving physical contact.
  • Large numbers of children worldwide – an estimated 90 percent of whom are girls – work as household servants.
  • More than one third of young women age 20–24 in developing countries reported that they were married or in union by age 18, mainly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Girls make up more than half of the 101 million children of primary school age that UNICEF estimates were not in school in 2007.
  • Fewer than half of primary schools have an adequate water supply and almost two-thirds lack adequate toilets, according to a survey carried out by UNICEF in 60 countries,
  • Many schools do not have separate toilets for girls and boys, which can lead to girls feeling unsafe and being harassed or even sexually abused.
  • In southern Africa, girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 25 are three to four times more likely to be infected by HIV than their male counterparts in some countries.
  • 90 per cent of HIV transmission to children is through their mothers.

* Sources
The girl child: Report of the Secretary-General (2009)
UNICEF State of the World Children (2008)
UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children (2006)