Equality for Girls| UNICEF USA

The world's 600 million adolescent girls are the innovators, the artists, the scientists, the mentors — the GirlForce — of tomorrow.

But poverty, violence and lack of opportunity disproportionately affect girls and women. And without an education, girls cannot achieve their full potential.

In 1995, some 30,000 women and men from nearly 200 countries met in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women. They created the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing the rights of women and girls, specifically calling on the global community to:

  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls including education, skills development and training, health and nutrition
  • Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls 
  • Promote and protect the rights of girls and increase awareness of their needs and potential 
  • Eliminate the economic exploitation of child labor and protect young girls at work 
  • Eradicate violence against girls 
  • Promote girls' awareness of and participation in social, economic and political life 
  • Strengthen the role of the family in improving the status of girls 

The progress since the Beijing Declaration has been remarkable, but girls around the world — especially those living in rural areas or humanitarian settings and those with disabilities — still need us to stand with them to tackle issues like child marriage, education inequality, gender-based violence, climate change and self-esteem.

UNICEF works with partners around the world to ensure that every girl and woman can live free from violence, attend and complete school, choose when and whom she marries and earn equal pay for equal work.

Given the right tools and opportunities, there's no limit to what today's young women can accomplish.