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“We believe adolescent girls are the most powerful catalysts for change on the planet,” wrote UN Foundation President & CEO Kathy Calvin and Nike Foundation President & CEO Maria Eitel in a piece that appeared on the Guardian website this week.

The op-ed highlights the urgent need to promote the rights and well-being of girls everywhere and to make sure girls are a top priority in the global agenda.  This is what girls deserve; it’s also what the world needs to fight poverty and build stronger communities.

Here are some excerpts from the piece, which you can read in full by clicking here.

“A girl with access to education, healthcare, voluntary family planning and jobs, and a safe space for her and her peers will increase her family and her community’s wealth, as well as contribute to her country’s GDP.  Just one extra year of education boosts a girl’s earning power by 10 to 12%. An extra year of secondary education doubles those figures. An educated girl marries later and has fewer, healthier children.”

“Investing in and prioritizing adolescent girls is not only the right thing to do, but a smart strategy as well. There are 250 million girls living in poverty. If we meet their basic needs and unleash their potential, we can unlock the cycle of inter-generational poverty.”