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Statement of UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, on the International Day of the Girl Child, 11 October 2016

Is anyone out there even thinking of improving our lives?" asks Susmita, a teenager from Odisha, India.

Susmita has never gone to school. She tends the few animals her family owns and attends to household chores. Like more than one in three girls in her community, she may be married before turning 18. She dreams about going to school - even just for one day.

This year's International Day of the Girl Child theme, "Girls' Progress = Goals' Progress: A Global Data Movement", recognizes that what counts for girls is to be counted. Data that can make the lives of every girl, in every setting, visible and accessible are essential to sustained progress. With access to this type of data and information, policymakers, communities, civil society organizations, youth-led groups, activists and girls themselves can shape policies and initiatives that positively affect the lives of millions of girls around the world.

Investing in adolescent girls, like Susmita, allows them to stay in school, gain skills, marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn a larger income to invest back into their families and communities. These investments must be driven and informed by high-quality data for maximum impact and results, and to track progress. This is particularly important for identifying and tackling the needs of the most marginalized girls - those about whom we often know the least.

Fewer than 50 countries can provide data that are disaggregated by sex and age. Vast gaps in data exist in many areas, including poverty, intimate-partner violence, and adolescent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth complications, especially in the 10- to 14-year-old age range. As a result, the challenges many girls face remain unaddressed, and this valuable segment of society is repeatedly unable to realize its full potential.

As we work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must acknowledge that our collective success is directly dependent on how we answer Susmita's question.

Every girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for her. Now is the time to fully exploit the power of data as one of the most critical tools for development and for protecting and promoting adolescent girls' rights.

The new State of World Population report, to be launched by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, later this month, examines how the support we provide to adolescent girls today will determine our collective well-being tomorrow.

We at UNFPA are committed to supporting adolescent girls to reach their full potential and determine their own destinies. Every girl counts.


Tetum Version

Involve Labarik Feto sira iha Era Objetivu Dezenvolvimentu Sustentavel


Deklarasaun Diretur Ezekutivu, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, iha Loron Internasional ba Labarik Feto, 11 Outubru 2016.

"Iha ema ruma nebe maka agora hanoin dadaun atu hadia ita/ami nia moris?" Husu Susmita, labarik feto ida husi Odisha, India.

Susmita nunka ba eskola. Nia dalabarak hare animal familia nian no halo servisu uma laran loron-loron. Hanesan liu numeru labarik feto ida husu labarik feto nain tolu iha nia komunidade, nia bele kaben antes idade 18. Nia iha mehi atu ba eskola - maske ba loron ida deit.

Tema ba loron Internasional ba Labarik Feto ba tinan ida nee maka, "Progresu Labarik feto sira nian = Progresu Global: Movimentu Dadus Global, rekunhese katak saida maka labarik feto presiza  presiza involve no hola parte mos. Dadus nebe maka bele halo ba kada labarik feto sira nia moris, iha kualker situasaun, bele hare no asesu importante tebes atu sustenta progresu. Asesu ba tipu dadus no informasaun hirak nee, ema nebe halo desijaun, komunidade sira, organizasaun sosiadade sivil sira, grupu juventude sira, ativista no labarik feto sira rasik bele ajuda haforsa politika sira no inisiativa sira nebe afeitva pozitivu ba moris labarik  feto sira tokon iha mundu.

Investe ba labarik feto sira, hanesan Susmita, fo sira atu kontinua eskola, hetan abilidade sira, kaben depois no iha oan nebe ho numeru natoon no saudavel, no hetan vensimentu atu investa fali ba sira nia familia no komunidade. Investimentu hirak nee presiza hetan no informadu liuhusi dadus nebe ho kualidade aas ba impaktu no rezultadu nebe maximu no atu avalia progresu. Ida nee importante tebes ba identifikasaun no responde ba nesesidade sira ba labarik feto nebe marjinalizadu tebes. - hirak nebe maka ita dalabarak ladun konta.

Menus nasaun 50 bele fornese dadus hirak nebe disagregadu tuir sexu no idade. Lakunas boot iha dadus nebe ezisti iha area barak, inklui nivel kiak, violensia  husi parseiru intimu, no mortalidade labarik feto sira husi isin-rua no komplikasaun partus, liu-liu idade 10to'o 14. Rezultadu husi nee maka obstaklus barak nebe maka labarik feto sira hasoru seidauk bele responde, no segment husi sosiedade ida nee repetivamentu labele realiza potensiasilidade ho maximu.

Ita servisu hamutuk atu atinji Objetivu Dezenvolvimentu Sustentavel, ita tenki rekunhese katak susesu kolektivu ita hotu nian sei depende ba oinsa ita atu responde ba perguntas husi Susmita.

Kada labarik feto ida iha direitu ba tranzisaun ida nebe seguru no susesu ba periodu adolesente no direitu atu iha oportunidade ba futuru iha sira nia liman. Agora tempu atu explora forsa husi dadus hanesan instumentu ida nebe kritiku tebes ba dezenvolviemntu no ba protesaun no promosaun direitus ba labarik feto sira nian.

Relatoriu foun husi Estadu Populasaun Mundial, nebe sei lansa husi UNFPA, Fundus Nasoens Unidas ba Populasaun, depois fulan ida nee, ezamina kona-ba oinsa suporta hirak nebe ita fo ba labarik feto sira ohin loron sei determina  ita nia asaun kolektivu  ba bem-estar aban-bainrua nian.

Ami iha UNFPA iha kumprimisu atu suporta labarik feto sira atu atinji sira nia potensialidade ho maximu no determina sira nia distinu rasik. Kada labarik feto sira hola parte mos.