International Day of the Girl
No matter where she lives, every girl on this planet deserves the chance to learn and grow, to develop her mind and her talents, and to live a life of her own choosing. Although we have made life significantly better for our daughters than it was for our mothers and grandmothers, in too many parts of the world, girls are still undervalued, disrespected, abused, and prevented from contributing to society. On International Day of the Girl, we recognize our obligation to lift up women and girls at home and abroad and to build a world where all girls feel safe and empowered in their classrooms, their communities, and their homes. This is the future we are forging: Where women and girls, no matter what they look like or where they are from, can live free from the fear of violence. A future where all girls know they can hold any job, run any company, and compete in any field. Let us keep working to build a world that is more just and free — because nothing should stand in the way of strong girls with bold dreams.
May we recognize the value and dignity of every person.
We know now that without gender equality and a full role for women in society, in the economy, in governance, we will not be able to achieve the world we hoped for.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
Removing the barriers that keep women and girls on the margins of economic, social, cultural, and political life must be a top priority for us all – businesses, governments, the United Nations, and civil society.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: When their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices are heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.
Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation President & CEO
A girl child who is even a little bit educated is more conscious of family planning, health care and, in turn, her children’s own education.
We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave – to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.
Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner
I’ve always believed that when you educate a girl, you empower a nation.
Queen Rania of Jordan
No industry or country can reach its full potential until women reach their full potential.
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, founder of LeanIn.Org
Business as usual with women left out of the decisions which affect them, and with their particular needs and circumstances overlooked in the outcomes, must not continue.
Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
I call upon women to raise each other up, to make each other’s welfare a priority, and to never shame a woman for the choices she makes.
Frieda Pinto, actress and women’s rights activist
There are more than 500 million adolescent girls living in the developing world today. Every one of them can potentially help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, with ripple effects multiplying across her society.
Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)