International Community Must Support Women, Girls To Achieve SDGs

Devex: We cannot fail to empower girls before they become women
Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general for family, women’s, and children’s health at WHO, and vice chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…On International Day of the Girl Child, our vision should be to empower every girl — all 600 million of them aged 10-19 around the world — to make healthy choices about their bodies well before they become women. Here is what needs to happen: First, we need to acknowledge that keeping adolescent girls healthy requires a broad response across society — not just the health sector. … Second, to keep girls healthy as they grow into women, we need global standards for adolescent health care that all countries can follow. … There has been a lot of talk in recent years about ‘girl power.’ But we still need powerful changes across society to give adolescent girls the support they need to grow into healthy women with satisfying lives” (10/12).

Devex: E.U. must help change the world for girls
Tanya Cox, acting head at Plan International E.U. Office, and colleagues

“…The European Union must live up to its commitments under Agenda 2030, and do everything in its power to ensure girls and women benefit equally from the Sustainable Development Goals and participate equally in their implementation and monitoring. … The E.U. must lead the way with political commitment, progressive transformative policies, funding, and other means of implementation that ensure that gender equality is at the heart of the global endeavor to achieve all of the SDGs. … The E.U. is one of the world’s most influential global actors. Its policies and actions have a lasting impact on the lives of millions of girls. It therefore has both an obligation and a responsibility to make sure that its policies empower girls and young women to fulfill their true potential…” (10/12).