Stop Talking About Girls; Start Talking With Them

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Today is the International Day of the Girl, celebrating the world’s 1.1 billion girls who are part of a large and vibrant global generation poised to take on the future.

This year’s International Day of the Girl theme is Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls. This theme speaks of the effects that significant gender data gaps have on half of humanity and the importance of harnessing this information in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); particularly Goal 5: Gender Equality.

We are pleased to share with you an article co-authored by Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation and Kim Samuel, “Stop Talking About Girls and Start Talking With Them”.

The exclusion and social isolation that so many girls face is inextricably linked to broader community and international development challenges. The reality is that for the world’s 15 to 19 year-old girls, we know much more about what they succumb to then how they actually live.

However, if we invest in girls in ways such as collecting data on their lives and showing that we care enough to learn and to get it right, we can send a powerful message about the value we place on girls and the commitment we share to their futures.

Together, we can demonstrate the respect and recognition that signal – to girls and to everyone – that girls’ lives and experiences matter, that they are not invisible, that we believe in them, and that we support them.