On the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child, the United States recommits to advancing the rights and empowerment of girls and young women in all their diversity around the world.
In 2022, we are far — too far — from achieving a gender-equitable world. Today, girls and young women are disproportionately impacted by unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 and HIV pandemics, humanitarian conflicts and crises, and the growing numbers of climate-related disasters facing our planet. Girls and young women continue to face risks of violence and discrimination in nearly every sphere — in their homes, schools, communities, and online.
Despite the barriers, they are rising up as leaders and changemakers. Girls and young women are at the forefront of climate action, demanding greater accountability from their governments, and speaking out against human rights abuses. To accelerate progress, we must uphold our commitment to fully involving them in decision-making processes and championing their solutions.
Last year, we issued the first-ever U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality to advance the rights and empowerment of women and girls. This year, we will release an action-oriented update to the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, which will include an emphasis on girls, the unique risks they face, and their role as agents of change in preventing and responding to gender-based violence. The United States will also continue efforts to promote girls’ safety online through the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse and the White House Taskforce to Address Online Harassment and Abuse.
On the multilateral front, through our support of the Generation Equality Forum, the United States has committed to doubling support for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) DREAMS Partnership, which supports programs focused on economic strengthening, gender-based violence prevention, post-GBV care, and sexual and reproductive health services. And finally, the United States continues to support UN Women, UNFPA, and UNICEF as vital partners in efforts to prevent and respond to all forms of gender-based violence, including child, early, and forced marriage; female genital mutilation/cutting; and online harassment and abuse.
As we look to the next decade, the United States stands firm in our commitment to partner with girls and young women in all their diversity and uplift their voices in securing equal enjoyment of their rights, safety, and ability to meaningfully participate in societies and decisions that impact their lives. Now more than ever, we need the leadership, creativity, and determination of girls to catalyze change and help solve the many global challenges we face.