Redouble Efforts to ‘Make Sure Girls Everywhere Are Healthy, Educated, Safe’, Says Secretary-General in Message for International Day

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of the Girl Child, observed on 11 October:

On the tenth anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child, we celebrate the lives and achievements of girls across the world.

When girls are supported to realize their human rights, they can reach their potential and create a better world for themselves, their communities and societies.

When girls are educated, they are more likely to lead healthy, productive and fulfilling lives.

When girls receive the right health care, they grow up with greater self-confidence and bodily autonomy.

When girls understand their rights, including the right to live without the threat of violence, they are more likely to stay safe and report abuse.

Many girls today face enormous challenges.  They may have had their education ended by the COVID-19 pandemic.  They may have been forced from their homes by conflict.  They may be unable to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.

I am extremely concerned by the continued exclusion of girls from school in Afghanistan.  This is deeply damaging to girls themselves, and to a country that desperately needs their energy and contributions.  I once again urge the Taliban to let girls learn.

Now more than ever, we must renew our commitment to work together so that girls enjoy and exercise their rights and can play a full and equal part in their communities and societies.

Investing in girls is investing in our common future.

On the International Day of the Girl Child, let’s redouble our efforts to make sure girls everywhere are healthy, educated and safe.

For information media. Not an official record.