The United Nationals Population Fund says that adolescent girls should be given more platform in support programs that empower them.
This was a statement made just yesterday when the UNPFA was celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child.
UNFPA noted that countries that support the program lack data about girls which makes it difficult for the international organization to derive means to address them.
The girls get early pregnancies, need premature abortions and held away from education and are married at ages below average marriage years. These are some of the problems faced by girls.
“Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Data Movement” is this year’s theme.
Girls of today can now put on like men in trousers and player football and score goals a trend that shows how girl child rights have over the last two decades improved.
But many are still marginalized according to their own testimonies.
They need to be identified in a more broad aspect so that their problems and policies to cater for them are done appropriately.
“The data is expected to help policymakers, communities, civil society organizations, youth-led groups, activists and girls themselves shape policies and initiatives that positively affect the lives of millions of girls around the world,” says Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin UNFPA Executive Director.
People supporting the girl child, insist that when adolescent girls are given education at that age, they get skills, marry later, have few and healthier children and work for some pay. This is kind of life tends to also support their extended families.
But there are still gaps in available data that include poverty, intimate-partner violence, and adolescent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth complications. The adolescent deaths are seen in the 10 to 14 year-olds.
Lack of sufficient data about adolescent girls makes it difficult to address challenges many face and they are a valuable segment of society repeatedly unable to realize its full potential.
“As we work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must acknowledge that our collective success is directly dependent on how we answer girl child questions.”
Every girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for her, UNPFA says.
Now is the time to fully exploit the power of data as one of the most critical tools for development and for protecting and promoting adolescent girls’ rights.
UNFPA is committed to supporting adolescent girls to reach their full potential and determine their own destinies. Every girl counts.