Empowering Adolescent Girls
At the turn of the century, there were 17 million more out-of-school girls in South Asia than boys. Today, this has reversed, with near parity, to the advantage of girls. Yet there are still 45 million girls still out of school. COVID19 has uncovered critical remaining challenges for girls, as well as risks that could set back this progress.
Even prior to the global pandemic, a learning crisis meant that children graduating did not have basic functional skills (math, reading), let alone the 21st century skills necessary to be successful in today’s digital economy and workplace. For girls, education does not always translate into employment, with many finding their future in the home, engaged in unpaid work, or in the informal sector. Girls in Asia are more likely (10:1 ratio) to be not in employment, education or training as compared to boys, where South Asia ranks the highest in the world. Girls with disabilities, and those living in marginalized groups face specific barriers.
Inspiring Stories from South Asia
International Women’s Day 2021
International Women’s Day is observed each year on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. This year, under the theme,“Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, UNICEF South Asia and partners came together to celebrate the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNICEF South Asia’s regional campaign, #SHeroes, is an ode to all the women and adolescent girls in South Asia and across the globe who have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and to support their communities and families. The #SHeros campaign recognizes and applauds the contribution of women and adolescent girls as health workers, teachers, entrepreneurs, community leaders and others.
It doesn't matter your age, size, gender – when you help others in your community and care for those around us, you can be a hero too! #SHEro
She shares her experience, she spreads her knowledge, and she holds our community together. She’s a #SHEro!
Leading both inside and outside the boardroom – that's what #SHEroes do!
International Day of the Girl 2020
Every year on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF launches an annual campaign with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, under the theme, “My voice, our equal future”, Girls’ organizations, UNICEF South Asia and partners came together to commemorate 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Regional change organized a one-day virtual IDG2020 South Asia Challenge aligned with the global “Generation Equality” activation. The needs and opportunities of adolescent girls – as well as their solutions and actions - are central to this initiative which seeks to amplify girls’ voices, in line with the global theme.