With nearly 600 million girls aged 10 to 19 in the world today, each with limitless individual potential but with marginalization due to gender matters resulting into their disappearance from public awareness and the international development agenda, International Day of the Girl Child (Day of the Girl) was announced by the United Nations and celebrated annually on October 11 to highlight issues concerning the gender inequality facing young girls.
The year 2015 theme: “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030 was aimed at harnessing and increasing the commitment of the global community to realisation of the potential of adolescent girls, which is believed will directly translate the girls as powerful and positive change agents for their own empowerment, for advancing gender equality and for the sustainable advancement of their nations according to the Agenda 2030 of the SDGs.
To support this cause, AREAi hosted a Twitter Conference to encourage all stakeholders in the community to work together in the effort to invest in adolescent girls, especially through quality education, to have a formidable ripple effect to create a better world by 2030 as anticipated by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Tweetosphere was painted agog as
the two guests, Adaeze Ngozi Chianumba (@adaeze_ngozi) and Unami Moatswi (@amberholiday) took turns to highlight issues concerning the girl child, stating categorically the need for educating and empowering them for a greater tomorrow, advocating and passing their messages with the hashtag #ForSchoolsNotForStreets.
From @adaeze_ngozi, “Over the last 15 years, the global community has made significant progress in improving the lives of girls during early childhood. In 2015, girls in the first decade of life are more likely to enrol in primary school, receive key vaccinations, and are less likely to suffer from health and nutrition problems than were previous generations. However, there has been insufficient investment in addressing the challenges girls face when they enter the second decade of their lives. This includes obtaining quality secondary and higher education, avoiding child marriage, receiving information and services related to puberty and reproductive health, and protecting themselves against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease and gender-based violence”.
From @amberholiday “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.”
In recognition of the importance of investing in adolescent girls’ empowerment and rights, both today and in the future, UN agencies, Member States, civil society organizations, and private sector stakeholders are called on to commit to putting adolescent girls at the centre of sustainable development efforts by making the following critical investments in their present and future. As we plan for sustainable development goals for the next 15 years, it is an opportune time to consider the importance of social, economic, and political investment in the power of adolescent girls as fundamental to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination and to achieving equitable and sustainable development outcomes.