State of World Population 2016

How Our Future Depends on a Girl at this Decisive Age

image of State of World Population 2016
In 15 years, the lifespan of the 2030 Agenda, the 10-year-old girl will be 25. Will she still be left behind? Or will she be enjoying her human rights and well-being, and exploring the many avenues open to her, knowing that, when her own daughter turns 10, she will experience more of the same? Only the latter scenario will allow the world to truly claim that it transformed the course of development and met the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals. Much depends on the choices we all make, from parents to policymakers, educators to health-care professionals, economists to entrepreneurs, journalists to community leaders. Today’s 10-year-old girl is on the way to her future. And her future is our own.

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Igniting the potential

Age 10 is a critical juncture in a girl’s life. What is happening now in her home, community and nation will determine the trajectory for the rest of her life. At this age, everything is about to change. In some parts of the world, she is old enough to be forced into marriage. She might be forced to stop attending school. Later in adolescence, it is likely that her first sexual experience will be coerced. In a couple of years, she might be a mother. Her rapidly accelerating life may careen towards a destination characterized by poverty and powerlessness.

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