Global Girlhood Report 2020
2020 was supposed to be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for women and girls. The year when governments, businesses, organisations and individuals who believe in equal treatment for all people were going to develop a five-year plan for how to work together to accelerate progress for gender equality, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Then COVID-19 struck. Now, 2020 risks being a year of irreversible setbacks and lost progress for girls. Unless the world acts fast and decisively, the impact on girls’ futures – and on all our futures – will be devastating. Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, progress for girls on some issues was under threat.
While girls’ health, nutrition and access to education have improved over the last 25 years, even before the pandemic hit, progress to end child marriage and reduce adolescent pregnancy had slowed to a halt. Now, with reports of gender-based violence increasing across the world, it is estimated that 9.7 million children may never return to school post‑COVID. And with the number of children living in poverty estimated to climb by around 100 million, for girls today, gender equality feels further from reach than ever.
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