Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the International Day of the Girl Child

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
October 11, 2021

Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the International Day of the Girl Child

On International Day of the Girl Child, the United States reaffirms its longstanding support for girls and women in our global community. In all their diversity, they are crucial to the success of our world and play a key role in the fight against climate change, ending gender-based violence, including sexual violence, and advancing racial and gender equity and equality. We remain committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of all girls and women regardless of the discrimination and challenges they disproportionately face in accessing education, employment, health care, and opportunities for inclusion – especially for those belonging to marginalized communities. We will continue to call out nations that seek to repress their empowerment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the impact of inequalities faced by girls and women at home and abroad. Approximately 20 million more secondary school-aged girls will be out of school by the end of the pandemic than before its arrival. Rates of gender-based violence, especially intimate partner violence, and violence against children have skyrocketed over the last two years, particularly as many were confined with their abusers. Some countries are using the pandemic to violate human rights and exclude girls and women from society at unprecedented levels. The pandemic is also leading to increased rates of child marriages, with UNICEF reporting that, over the next decade, up to 10 million more girls will be at risk of becoming child brides.

We all must do more to provide support and agency to all girls and women in their effort to seek resources and opportunities. We know that when they are able to be free and full participants in global conversations, we are all better for it. We are proud to join the global community in celebrating this day, and invite you to join us in lifting up the voices of girls and women.