United States ambassador commemorates the International Day of the Girl Child

Illustration Chad Crowe

Millions of these 1.1 billion girls are denied opportunities and subjected to discrimination and violence, particularly those living in emergency situations.

In support of the event, UNICEF shared a video on Twitter, showing young girls from all across the world dancing on the song Freedom by Beyoncé. The first theme was "ending child marriage.' In 2013, the theme was "innovating for girl's education" and in 2014, the theme was "Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.' The theme for 2015 was "The Power of Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030" and for 2016, it was 'Girls" Progress = Goals" Progress: What Counts for Girls.' This year, the theme is 'The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030'.

Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, literate, and healthy life, not only during childhood, but also as they mature into womanhood. Child marriageOne in three girls are married before 18, and one in seven before 157. Girls make our communities stronger - and all of us benefit when all people, no matter their gender identity, are able to dream without limits.

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Young girls will take lead of the talk programmes at 300 community radios under "Because I am a Girl" initiative, a global movement of Plan International in coordination with Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB). Much more can and needs to be done to harness the data required to ensure programs, policies and services effectively respond to the specific needs of girls.

"Today, across the world, empowered girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts". To advance progress for girls, we call for an increased investment in order to enhance national capacity and systems to collect, analyze and disseminate gender data across the age spectrum to improve statistics on gender based violence, teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health issues. Inequality also includes violence against girls and right to education.

Girls have already changed the world for the better, and this generation has the power to magnify that change. It's International Day of the Girl, a day set up by the United Nations in 2011 that focuses on the girl as a child with her potential to do anything she strives to achieve in life.

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