International Day of the Girl Child
My Voice, Our Equal Future
The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.
Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015, embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind. Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real. It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all. Let’s seize the momentum to drive action and accountability of GEF commitments made, for and with girls to achieve a bold vision of bridging the digital gender divide.
Digital generation. Our generation.
Girls know their digital realities and the solutions they need to excel on their diverse pathways as technologists for freedom of expression, joy, and boundless potential. Let’s amplify the diversity of these tech trailblazers while simultaneously widening the pathways so that every girl, this generation of girls – regardless of race, gender, language, ability, economic status and geographic origin – lives their full potential.
Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.
Did you know?
• The global internet user gender gap is growing, from 11 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2019, and widest in the world’s least developed countries at 43 per cent.
• 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have internet access at home, with girls more likely to be cut off.
• Globally, the percentage of females among Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates is below 15 per cent in over two-thirds of countries.
• And in middle and higher-income countries, only 14 per cent of girls who were top performers in science or mathematics expected to work in science and engineering compared to 26 per cent of top-performing boys.
In 2021 we commemorate the Generation Equality Forum (GEF), launching 5-year commitments from civil society leaders, governments, corporations and change makers from around the world for bold gender equality impacts. At the same time, we are in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities.The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real. It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all. Let’s seize the momentum to drive action and accountability of GEF commitments made, for and with girls to achieve a bold vision of bridging the digital gender divide.
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