Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

It Was A Year Of Pain — And Promise — For The World's Girls

Jenipher Sanni, a former child bride from Malawi, with the bike she used to get to and from school after she left her husband.
Courtesy of Jenipher Sanni
Jenipher Sanni, a former child bride from Malawi, with the bike she used to get to and from school after she left her husband.

Oct. 11 is the "International Day of the Girl" – proclaimed by the U.N. as a time to look at the challenges girls face and to promote their "empowerment" and human rights.

What kind of year has it been for girls? We looked at the stories we've done over the past year, and the headlines alone captured both the tragedies and the triumphs. In many ways a horrible year for girls. But even at the bleakest moments, there are stories of hope and triumph.

Here is a sampling of our stories about the world's girls:

Grim news

The Lament Of The Boko Haram 'Brides'

15-Year-Old Girl Found Dead In A Menstrual Hut In Nepal

Outcry Over Photo Showing The Face Of A Girl Allegedly Being Raped

Deep dive

Video: A Heartbreaking Look At A Couple Forced To Marry As Young Teens

Female Genital Mutilation: What It Does To A Woman

The Billion Dollar Cost Of Child Marriage

Signs of hope

Day Camp With Anti-FGM Activities On The Program

What A Teen Mom Wishes She'd Known Before She Got Pregnant

Afghan Women Say No To The Dress

Gang Rape Of Two Teens Leads To An Unusual Step – A Trial

Law In Nepal Sets Penalties For Forcing A Woman Into A Menstrual Shed

Inspiring figures

A Promise To Her Newborn Daughter: No More FGM

Former Child Bride Pedaling Her Way To A Brighter Future

They Never Told Her That Girls Could Become Scientists

Unexpected Heroines Of An Indian Box Office Hit: Female Wrestlers

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Marc Silver
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Why Support KNKX?

You depend on KNKX for trusted, in-depth local news, music by knowledgeable hosts and enlightening NPR programs. We depend on members for more than half of our financial support.

Give Today