Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Girls & Women

US Secretary of State Kerry says it's time to empower girls all over the world

Flickr, State Dept.

Secretary of State John Kerry recently announced the United States' government’s new Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls.

The US government believes it is critical to help adolescent girls fully participate in society. When girls are kept from achieving their potential it affects more than just themselves. It also negatively affects their families and their communities.

Although there have been great strides made toward gender equality around the world, there are still far too many places where adolescent girls do not have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

A quarter of a billion girls live in poverty around the world. One in three girls in the developing world is married by the time she is 18.  Every year, millions of girls undergo female genital mutilation. Currently, millions of girls live in conflict settings where they are at risk of gender based violence.

The State Department, USAID, Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, are joining forces to execute the Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls.

“So a better life is what brings all of us here together...we are going to do everything in our power to make certain that we can translate this all-important but simple promise into a reality. And that is a fight worth fighting.” Said - Secretary Kerry at the launch of the adolescent girls strategy.

The strategy aims to:

  • Enhance girls’ access to quality education in safe environments
  • Provide economic opportunities and incentives for girls and their families
  • Empower girls with information, skills, services, and support
  • Mobilize and educate communities to change harmful norms and practices
  • Strengthen policy and legal frameworks and accountability

Girls should not be discriminated against because of their gender. When girls are empowered, everyone benefits. This new strategy from the US government seeks to do just that. Through increased opportunities and access to quality education, girls around the world will finally be able to take control of their own lives. And that’s something to be excited about.