Saturday, 11 October 2014

International Day of the Girl Child: Stop The Violence Against The Girl Child

As we observe the International Day of the Girl Child, it is time to celebrate the enormous potential each young girl has to help build a brighter future. But she can only do this if she grows up in the right conditions, with the right support and in the right environment. Her potential needs to be carefully nurtured and promoted.

Adolescence is a critical time that can determine the entire trajectory of a girl’s life. With the right care, investment and environment, she will become educated and grow into an adult who can take key decisions that will lead her to be an agent of change and contribute to economic growth in her community and in the society.

Unfortunately, however, many girls face tremendous challenges that prevent them from achieving their full potential. The theme of this year’s Day of the Girl Child highlights one of the major challenges: violence against girls – a universal phenomenon that persists in all corners of the globe, jeopardizing the human rights, health and well-being of too many young lives…

… We, at WHO, have now made violence against women and girls a top priority. We are in the process of developing a new plan of action, following the resolution approved by Member States in May of this year at the World Health Assembly, “to ensure all people at risk of or affected by violence have access to timely, effective and affordable health care – particularly women, girls and children.”

Today, as we mark the Day of the Girl Child, I am convinced that with our joint efforts we can make violence against girls a thing of the past. I join my colleagues and collaborators in calling for the protection and empowerment of all girls, everywhere. Together, we will unlock every young girl’s future potential for generations to come.


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