Empowering Girls Is A Human Right and Part of Sustainable Development

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Many of us are shaped by what we experience as a child. In high-income countries, girls have lives often full of possibilities and choices, while for those girls in in low- and middle-income nations, they live in a world fraught with harsh realities and limited choices. Right now, there has never been a better time to raise our voices in support of the health and empowerment of girls and women to ensure they are a top priority in global development. We need to build a world where girls’ and women’s rights are recognised as human rights, where access to sexual and reproductive health services is guaranteed to everyone, especially young people, and every pregnancy is planned.

The global community recognises that empowering women and girls is crucial, not only because it is a human right, but also an indispensable tool for addressing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and to advance sustainable development.

This was the main discussion at a leading event entitled, “Invest in Girls and Women: Everybody Wins,” co-hosted by Women Deliver, the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations (UN), Plan International, the Nike Foundation and the UN Foundation. It was a conference attended by world leaders in New York to focus on the need for greater global investment in reproductive health, education and equality for girls and women. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark opened the event and said, “We need to close the gender gap and if we can do that, it will be a win for the individual, for global development, and economic growth – everybody wins.”

At the event it was acknowledged that significant progress has been made for girls and women with regards to reducing maternal deaths, which have nearly halved in the past decades, and more girls are attending primary and secondary schools than ever before. Education empowers people and in the case of girls and women, helps them to achieve their potential and make a difference in the lives of other women and girls.

Investing in girls and women is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do and we need to increase that investment. Girls were not created to be invisible. We need to help ensure that the millions of girls living in poverty across the world are heard, have the right to complete a quality education and live free from violence. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia