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Making girls count

Oct 11,2016 - Last updated at Oct 11,2016

Is anyone out there even thinking of improving our lives?” asks Susmita, a teenager from Odisha, India.

Susmita has never gone to school. She tends the few animals her family owns and attends to household chores. 

Like more than one in three girls in her community, she may be married before turning 18. She dreams about going to school — even just for one day.

This year’s International Day of the Girl Child theme — “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Data Movement” — recognises that what counts for girls is to be counted. 

Data that can make the lives of every girl, in every setting, visible and accessible is essential to sustained progress.

With access to this type of data and information, policymakers, communities, civil society organisations, youth-led groups, activists and girls themselves can shape policies and initiatives that positively affect the lives of millions of girls around the world.

Investing in adolescent girls like Susmita allows them to stay in school, gain skills, marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn a larger income to invest back into their families and communities.

These investments must be driven and informed by high-quality data for maximum impact and results, and to track progress.

This is particularly important for identifying and tackling the needs of the most marginalised girls — those about whom we often know the least.

Fewer than 50 countries can provide data that is disaggregated by sex and age.

Vast gaps in data exist in many areas, including poverty, intimate-partner violence, and adolescent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth complications, especially in the 10 to 14-year-old age range. 

As a result, the challenges many girls face remain unaddressed, and this valuable segment of society is repeatedly unable to realide its full potential.

As we work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must acknowledge that our collective success is directly dependent on how we answer Susmita’s question.

Every girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for her.

Now is the time to fully exploit the power of data as one of the most critical tools for development and for protecting and promoting adolescent girls’ rights.

The new State of World Population report, to be launched by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) later this month, examines how the support we provide to adolescent girls today will determine our collective well-being tomorrow.

We at UNFPA are committed to supporting adolescent girls to reach their full potential and determine their own destinies. Every girl counts.

 

 

The writer is UNFPA executive director. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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MENTAL PUNISHMENT AND GENDER THRASING OF WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD IS WELL KNOWN AND DOCUMENTED DESPITE LAWS, INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMMENDMENTS BECAUSE WOMEN ARE DEPRIVED OF MOST FORMS OF CIVIL RIGHTS EVEN MORE THAN IT USE TO BE IN SOUTH AFRICAN, SLAVERY AND DARK AGES AND THIS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY STARTS RIGHT FROM BIRTH AND THEIR HOMES. LOOK AT THE PROFANITY IN OUR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS FOR EXAMPLE. WHEN THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD BECOMES A LAUGHING JOKES ABOUT OUR MOTHERS, WIFES, DOUGHTERS AND SISTERS, HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEN OF AN EPIDEMIC PROPORTION. WHEN JORDAN DOES NOT ALLOW JORDANIAN GIRLS TO MARRY AT THE AGE THE GIRLS WOULD LIKE AT THEIR OWN DISCRETION OR TREAT WOMEN WHO MARRY NON JORDANIAN MEN THE SAME WAY THEY TREAT JORDANIAN MEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN WOMEN, WHEN WOMEN AND BANNED FROM DRIVING IN THAT REGION, WHEN IT TAKE TWO WOMEN TO MAKE ONE MAN IN JORDAN, WHEN ITS OK FOR MEN TO MARRY AS MANY WOMEN AS THEY WANT IN ADDITION TO MANY CONCUBINES AND SO ON, WHERE DO WE BEGIN TO DISECT AND REMOVE THIS CANCEROUS TUMORS?. WHO SAID THAT MY WIFE IS A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN NEVER MIND MY MOTHER WHEN WE ALL GRADUATE FROM FIRST CLASS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, WHEN THERE ARE AS MANY WOMEN EDUCATORS AS MEN EVEN IN THE BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD. IN FACT I DO BLAME WOMEN FOR TOLORATING THIS TYPE OF SLAVERY AND ABUSE. WHY DONT WOMEN REFUSE TO COOK, CLEAN, HAVE SEX FOR THE PLEASURE OF THEIR MASTERS, DICTATE WHEN THEY CAN HAVE BABIES AND HOW MANY, REFUSE TO BE A SECOND NEVER MIND THIRD AND MORE WIFES, MANDATE THAT GOVERNMENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD MAKES IT A CRIME TO HAVE TWO WIFES, DEMAND THAT ALL GOVERNMENTAL JOBS BE GIVEN BY MERIT AND SO ON. IN USA, WE ARE ABOUT TO MAKE HISTORY BY ELECTING THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT AND I AM GLAD TO BE PART OF THIS HISTORY. SECONDARY TO THIS HISTORY IN THE MAKING, I WILL BE WATCHING TO SEE HOW THOSE LEADERS WHO PRESIDE OVER THE TORTORE OF WOMEN SHAKE HANDS WITH OUR NEW COMMADER IN CHIEF. WHY ALLOW WOMEN INTO THE CLASSROOMS WHEN IN FACT THEIR TALENTS END UP IN THE BACK SEAT AND THE WORLD WATCH BUT STILL PREACH GABBAGE ON TOP OF HYPOCRICY? CAN THE UN OR ANY AGENCY ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.

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