We have issued a briefing to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. The Day, which is intended to increase awareness of forced marriage, denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights, lack of access to education and the other unique challenges that girls around the world face, is an annual event.
In our briefing we outline the challenges and argue that the most effective way to overcome them is through increasing investment in girls’ education and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Doing so would not only improve the lives of girls, but have far-reaching social, economic and environmental benefits. This is because empowering girls can lower fertility rates and population growth, which strains natural resources, hinders poverty reduction efforts and contributes to environmental degradation.
There are few — if any — developmental policies that would have as transformative an effect as more greatly empowering girls.