Let’s accelerate change for rights, power and opportunities for every girl around the world

SWOP 2016 report cover - credits: UNFPA

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes United Nations Population Fund’s 2016 State of the World’s Population (SWOP) report ‘10’’ on the future for young girls at age ten.

The human rights of girls across social, economic and political life are deeply intertwined and indivisible.

Girls are often left behind, given no voice or an opportunity to aspire for a future. There is no denying that this is the story for many girls in both developing and developed nations around the world.

UNFPA’s report demonstrates clearly how the lives of young girls can be changed at the age of 10. It highlights how gender norms for girls can lead to early and forced marriage and having children far too early.

Tewodros Melesse, Director General of International Planned Parenthood Federation, said in response to the launch of the UNFPA report today.

“Early marriage reduces girls’ access to education, and anticipation of an early marriage often prevents secondary education for girls. When a girl is not able to go to school and receive an education, there is a knock‑on effect on her future work opportunities and also her health.

This not only impacts on the individual lives of girls, but also perpetuates systemic gender inequalities where the rights of girls are valued less than that of boys. This is a vicious cycle we have to break.

Young girls are a big focus for the Federation. We also work with all those who can help make the shifts that are needed so a girl can decide her own future both freely and safely.

Our comprehensive sexuality education is progressive and part of our package of rights-based interventions available through our Member Associations to tackle gender norms but also empower girls in their communities.

IPPF puts girls first and the center of what we do. By respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services. We stand for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to their rights, sexuality and pregnancy. We work not only to amplify their voice, but to have them involved, build their resilience and take control of their own destinies.

Over the past decade, we have made significant progress to advance girls’ rights to education, health, and security. But we only have to look at the facts to know that more changes are needed.

As UNFPA’s report demonstrates, we need to look towards the future and with a positive frame. By protecting girls, giving them access to services and education they will be able to build their own futures as a basic human right. Let’s not turn our backs but accelerate change for better rights, power and opportunities for every girl around the world.”