Half a billion girls live in poorer countries. That’s 83% of all the girls in the world aged 10-19. That’s almost all of our next female leaders, workers and mothers.
Despite Australia’s commitment to addressing gender inequality globally, girls aged 10 to 19 are largely invisible in our aid, development and foreign policy.
Girls are at risk because of their age and gender. In every space they occupy including their home, school, and city, they are vulnerable. They are at risk of rape, violence, harassment and child marriage; of being unable to access secondary education; of being denied control of their sexual and reproductive health.
We already know how to make the world a better place for girls. The evidence is clear. When we create the conditions for adolescent girls to achieve gender equality, to be healthy, educated, safe and empowered, they build strong, sustainable and economically secure communities.
All it takes is willingness, commitment and money to transform the lives of millions of girls from one of risk and poverty to one where all girls can learn, lead, decide and thrive.
Ask our foreign policy leaders to make girls a priority so we can unlock the potential of the half a billion girls in the developing world.
There are 500 million reasons Australia needs to prioritise girls in our foreign policy, trade, and overseas aid and development. There are 500 million reasons to do it right now.