It is a sad and terribly unjust fact that females around the world are often treated as second-class citizens, considered inferior to males and a burden to society. Equally disconcerting is the violence against them, the prejudice and gender-based hatred, and the lack of educational or employment opportunities.

We think of these things as we look into the photographed faces of girl babies from around the world — Benin, Peru, Bolivia, China, Russia, USA, Liberia, India, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Mali, Canada, France, and Guatemala. This board book from the nonprofit The Global Fund for Children reads: "Wherever they are born, girls are beautiful, strong, bold, and bright." Visit for information on programs designed to help girls grow and thrive.