International Day of the Girl Child: empowering girls before, during and after crises

11 October 2017

The International Day of the Girl Child addresses the needs and challenges girls face while promoting their empowerment and human rights. One of the key challenges many adolescent girls face is HIV. Every week, across the world, 6,900 adolescent girls and young women (ages 15-24) are newly infected with HIV. Only 1 in 3 adolescent girls and young women have comprehensive and correct knowledge of how to prevent HIV. 

The theme of the International Day of the Girl Child 2017 is “EmPOWER girls: before, during and after crises”. This theme includes an increased vulnerability to HIV women and girls face due to child marriage and gender-based violence in war and conflict. 

International human rights obligations and the bold targets of the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS call for ending all forms of violence against women and girls, including in conflict, post-conflict and humanitarian settings. Only through promoting gender equality, eliminating violence and investing in girls empowerment together with the other targets in the Political Declaration will the world be on track to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. 

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