Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day of the Girl, observed on 11 October:

This year, we mark the International Day of the Girl against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and resurgent movements for social justice.

As we strengthen the response to the pandemic and plan for a strong recovery, we have an opportunity to create a better, fairer, more equal world for girls everywhere.  The best way to achieve this is by following the leadership of girls themselves.

This year’s theme, “My Voice:  Our Equal Future”, calls on us to amplify the voices of adolescent girls and put their needs at the forefront of laws, policies and practices in every country and community around the world.

The gaps between girls and boys remain unacceptably wide.  Adolescent girls are locked out of opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), not for lack of talent or ambition — but because they are girls.  Globally, the percentage of women among graduates in these subjects is below 15 per cent in over two thirds of countries.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Generation Equality is our global campaign and call to commit to working with and for girls, everywhere.  We must support girls by giving them access to the tools they need to shape their own destinies.  That includes the technological skills, connectivity and safety they need to thrive in a digital world.

We can all draw inspiration from the adolescent girls who are taking the lead and shaping better lives for themselves — and for others.  Teenage girls are the new leaders of our time, creating global movements for change.  They’re ready for the challenge.

On this International Day of the Girl, let’s stand together with them and for them.  Let’s nourish their talents, amplify their voices and work together for a better, more equal future for us all.

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Author: Editor
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