According to United nations, nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15–19 globally are not in education, employment or training, compared to 1 in 10 boys. The analysis presented in this report lays out six core investment themes and examples of investable opportunities and calls on commercial organizations and investors, with an eye on social and economic impact, to adopt bold investment approaches across these themes.
The statistics, also, show that up to 10 million girls are at risk of child marriage, and girls are primary victims of sexual exploitation. Sexism and discrimination affect their education and opportunities as well, as the global internet user gender gap grew from 11% in 2013 to 17% in 2019, and the percentage of women among STEM graduates is below 15% in over two-thirds of the world (source: The SDGs Report 2021)
In order to improve the situation, the United Nations General Assembly adopted on December 19, 2011, the Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
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.
In 2022, we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG). In these last 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policymakers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard on the global stage. Yet, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential; made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19 and humanitarian conflict. Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence. COVID-19 has worsened existing burdens on girls around the world and worn away important gains made over the last decade.
With adversity, however, comes resourcefulness, creativity, tenacity, and resilience. The world's 600 million adolescent girls have shown time and time again that given the skills and the opportunities, they can be the changemakers driving progress in their communities, building back stronger for all, including women, boys and men.
Girls are ready for a decade of acceleration forward. It is time for us all to stand accountable – with and for girls – and to invest in a future that believes in their agency, leadership and potential.
Measures to empower girls according to the European Women's Lobby
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.
(το πιο πάνω κείμενο δημοσιεύθηκε από τη UNICEF)