25 years of commitments to girls
International Day of the Girl 2020
92.2 million girls live in Latin America and the Caribbean. These girls are different because of their gender and ethnic identities, because of the languages they speak, for where they live, who they live with and various other factors. We celebrate their diversity today, on the International Day of the Girl, and every day.
Girls born in 2020 have gained 5 years in life expectancy at birth over the past 25 years, the region is closing the gap for girls out of school and female youth literacy has increased. New HIV infections among girls aged 10-19 and adolescent fertility rates have dropped with girls’ family planning needs increasingly being met.
At the same time, girls aged 5-19 are increasingly overweight and the numbers of young women who were married or in union before the age of 18 has remained the same. Girls face violence in their homes, in their relationships, in schools, on the streets, in parks, on public transportation and in digital spaces. They are held back from pursuing their dreams by a higher burden of responsibilities to care for others before caring for themselves.
UNICEF has listened to women and girls around the Region. They have expressed concern for their access to quality education and health services. They demand an end to violence and have no tolerance for racism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination that demeans any one girl, any one group. They call upon governments, community leaders, parents and peers to realize their potential and remove obstacles in laws, policies and services, to change harmful practices and address climate change.
Girls are asking for a fair distribution of tasks within households and communities. They call for cultural changes that support non-violent, respectful interpersonal relations. They are also asking for women leaders to stand with them, and positive male role models to step forward, to break the cycle of inequality.
Girls in LAC are ready and willing to lead a new era for equality, and they need your support.
2020 marks 25 years since the signing of the Beijing Platform for Action, 10 year count-down to fulfil the 2030 Agenda, the Santiago Consensus - and a global pandemic with far-reaching socio-economic impacts for girls and the households, communities and societies in which they live, learn and grow. UNICEF continues to listen to girls across the Region through the Girls' Rights: Our voices for an equal future platform.
Girls have expressed their fears for the future COVID-19 will leave behind, and its impact on their lives, futures and their families. They are worried about increases in violence and that poverty will deepen inequities in their countries. By raising their voices, we can develop with them, and key partners, strategies to ensure their rights do not fall off agendas as countries struggle to contain, and address impacts of, COVID-19 in the coming decade of accelerated action with Generation Equality partners.
 Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, Declaración de Antigua, UNICEF, Ciudad de Panamá, 2018, <www.unicef.org/lac/media/5511/file>, consultado el 6 de octubre de 2020.