The Jakarta Post
This year’s State of World Population (SWOP) report, entitled “10: How our future depends on a girl at this decisive age”, has focused on the demographic as the very core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks to be achieved with the central pledge of leaving no one behind.
This is the first UN Population Fund’s (UNPFA) SWOP report released in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The age of 10 is a critical juncture in a girl's life,” Yoriko Yasukawa, the UNFPA regional director for Asia and the Pacific, said on Thursday.
“She's still a child. And yet she's approaching that age when many people in many countries start to think of a girl as an asset or a commodity—for work, childbearing or sex. Impeding a girl's safe, healthy path through adolescence to a productive adulthood is a violation of her rights. But it also takes a toll on her community and nation.”
The report states that of the 125 million 10-year-olds today, with more than half of them living in the Asia-Pacific region, 60 million are girls.
“Girls are less likely than boys to complete formal schooling at the secondary and university levels, are more likely to be in poorer physical and mental health, and will find it harder to get paid jobs,” the report says.
The report says investing in girls will result in significant sociocultural, political and economic dividends for a country and society. Among interventions include banning harmful practices and providing cash transfers to parents of girls in poor households to help cover costs of education and keeping girls in school longer. (ebf)
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