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MAKERS Celebrates 2016's International Day of the Girl

Every year on October 11, the International Day of the Girl is celebrated globally. This year's theme is "Girls' Progress = Goals' Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement."

This week, as part of our ongoing live Twitter chats on various women's issues leading up to the general election, we're focusing on the topic of violence against women and girls. And we're determined to end violence against women (VAW) and girls by sharing the facts and stats, because there's no better time than today to join the global girl data movement.

One of the biggest issues standing in the way of girls in our world, according to United Nations Women, is child marriage (one of the major parts of VAW). These forced child marriages happen to 1 in 3 girls in developing countries before their 18th birthday, causing them to "miss out on education, [be] more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and bear children before they are physically or emotionally prepared."

And, with 1.1 billion girls in today's world, we have no more time to waste. Progress must be made NOW.

The Facts:
• VAW is defined by the United Nations as "Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." Some examples include rape, incest, murder, assault, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, etc.
1 in 3 women have been abused or subject to some form of gender-based violence throughout their lifetime.
• "Up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime."
• U.N. Women reports that 700 million women alive today were married before they turned 18-years-old and over a third were married before they turned 15.

The Solutions:
• Spread awareness/become aware.

• Join organizations, advocate for anti-violence, and donate to end VAW.
• Volunteer at a women's organization.
• Click through the gallery above for inspiration from women creating a better world for females.
• Also, join us for TWO LIVE Twitter chats today. Join one on the topic of VAW with our new MAKER Salamishah Tillet from 2:30-3:30pm EST. Join us again from 3:30-4pm EST with AOL for a broader conversation on International Day of the Girl.

NEXT: Get to Know Salamishah Tillet »

Related Stories:
Watch Salamishah Tillet's MAKERS Minute
Girls Gone Global: MAKERS Celebrates International Day of the Girl 2015

Photo Credit: Tim Graham via Getty Images