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UNFPA Commits To Supporting Girls Reach Full Potential
By Joseph Toe
MONROVIA, October 12 (LINA) -The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) is committed to supporting adolescent girls reach their full potential and determine their own destiny, Executive Director Babatunde Osatimehin has said.
She said 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.
Her remarks were contained in a statement in observance of International Day of the Girl Child under the theme “Girls’ Progress; Goals’ Progress: A Global Data Movement.”
She noted that 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, according to a statement issued by the local UNFPA office.
Osatimehin indicated that the theme recognizes that what counts for girls is to be counted, noting that data can make the lives of every girl in every setting visible and accessible, and are essential to sustained progress.
“With access to this type of data and information, policymakers, communities, civil society organizations, youth-led groups, activists and girls themselves can shape policies and initiatives that positively affect the lives of millions of girls around the world,” she added.
She pointed out that investing in adolescent girls allows them to stay in school, gain skills, marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn a larger income to invest back into their families and communities.
Osatimehin stated that these investments must be driven and informed by high-quality data for maximum impact and results, and to track progress, adding that “this is particularly important for identifying and tackling the needs of the most marginalized girls – those about whom we often know the least.”
According to her, fewer than 50 countries can provide data that are disaggregated by sex and age.
She indicated that vast gaps in data exist in many areas, including poverty, intimate-partner violence, and adolescent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth complications, especially in the 10 to 14-year-old age range.
Osatimehin said as a result, the challenges many girls face remain unaddressed, and this valuable segment of society is repeatedly unable to realize its full potential.
She added: “The new State of World Population report to be launched by UNFPA later this month examines how the support we provide to adolescent girls today will determine our collective well-being tomorrow.”