If girls were valued and given the same care as boys there would be at least another 100 million women in the world.
In South Asia, Africa and Middle East, girls get much less education than boys.
Working girls have fewer opportunities, work harder and earn less than boys - and are rarely noticed by researchers.
Girls live longer than boys - but in every other way their chances in life are worse, and worsen as they get older.
GIRLHOOD: A PERILOUS PATH PREBIRTH Tests that tell the gender of a foetus are used by parents in India and China to abort unwanted females. Of 8,000 foetuses aborted in a Bombay clinic during the late 1980s only one was male.
BIRTH An unwanted girl baby may be killed at birth or allowed to die when she falls ill. In parts of Hunan Province China, 60% more girls die than boys.
INFANCY Girls are biologically more resilient than boys but shorter breastfeeding and less health care threaten girls' survival chances. In Jordan 100 girl infants die for every 85 boy deaths.
EARLY CHILDHOOD (1-5 years) Less food and care for girls leads to illness and stunted growth. Girls in Tunisia are twice as likely as boys to die of diarrhoeal infection.
CHILDHOOD (6-12 years) Child labour and domestic duties rob girls of childhood and disrupt their education. Girls as young as eight commonly go into domestic service in Nepal and Bangladesh.
ADOLESCENCE Girls who are unschooled and an economic burden are married off at an early age, by arrangement and sometimes for cash. Half the girls in Bahrain are married by the age of 15.
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