Editor’s Note: This post was written by Girl Up Teen Advisor Sophie Tegenu, and originally appeared on the Girl Up blog.
This post launches a new blog series, “Her Goals: Our Future,” which over the coming months will highlight the connections between girls and women and the Sustainable Development Goals.
17 is a magic number. Apollo 17 went to the moon; Michelle Obama was born on January 17; John Lennon met Paul McCartney when he was 17; and I am 17 years old.
But perhaps most importantly, the United Nations has 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are designed to increase the global standard of living. On September 25, 2015, countries around the world adopted these 17 new global goals to achieve extraordinary things over the next 15 years.
So what does all of this have to do with girls? How will these goals address the needs of girls globally?
Goal 1: No Poverty.
Of the1 billion people who live in extreme poverty, an estimated 70% are girls and women. Eradicating poverty and hunger are largely women’s issues.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being.
Maternal mortality is the second leading cause of death of girls aged 15-19 and 70,000 adolescent girls in developing countries die annually of causes related to pregnancy. We NEED to reduce the global mortality rate.
Goal 4: Quality Education.
62 million girls around the world are out of school, and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population are women. Education is the ULTIMATE KEY to a higher standard of living. Ensuring the education of all girls by the year 2030 ensures a life of more opportunity.
Goal 5: Gender Equality.
Girls deserve to have the same rights and opportunities as boys. End of story.
Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation.
Girls are often the ones who are responsible for fetching water for their families. When a girl has improved access to clean water, she can spend more time in school learning and less time walking far distances to collect drinking water for her family.
By the year 2030, Friends will have been off the air for 26 years, Emma Watson will be 40 years old, and the Sustainable Development Goals will have reached their time limit.
Governments across the globe, along with us, everyday citizens, have the obligation to work as hard as we can to achieve every one of the 17 goals. With the full support of girls and women worldwide, there is no goal that is too big to achieve.