World leaders are gathering at the United Nations in September to launch a new set of global goals, which will set the world’s to-do list through 2030.
What kind of world do you want to see for girls in 2030? What is your message to world leaders? How can we help girls around the world? We posed these questions and more to some of Girl Up’s Teen Advisors when they were in Washington, D.C. last week for the fourth annual Girl Up Leadership Summit.
Girl Up is the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign that raises awareness and funds to help the hardest-to-reach girls worldwide. Each year, Girl Up selects a group of teen advisors to help the campaign carry out advocacy goals, provide feedback on campaign materials, and energize others to take action.
To empower girls around the world, we have to make sure they are part of the conversation. Here is what several Girl Up Teen Advisors had to say about the future they want:
“Working with Girl Up, I’ve come across a lot of different stories about girls and how they have been marginalized. In 2030 and beyond, I want to see girls and world leaders come together and have the same goals. I want world leaders to recognize it’s in their best interests for girls to reach their full potential.” – Alex Intriago, 18, Miami, FL
“I’d like to see our statistics getting better, like more girls being educated. We’re making a lot of progress, and I’d like to see a lot more gender equality as well, such as women being paid the same as men and having the same rights. ” – Simone Cowan, 17, Atlanta, GA
“I want to see, especially working with Girl Up, that we’re trying to reach the hardest to reach girls, and I want to make sure that by 2030, we’re able to reach those girls.” – Sydney Baumgardt, 16, Evergreen, CO
“I think if you want to make legitimate change for girls, you have to remember to include them in the conversation. Too often, you have lawmakers who are not girls…and they don’t intimately get the situation that a lot of girls are in. I think you need to draw from the source. I think you need girls who have been through conflicts or been through problems to give their insights and their solutions.” – Amy Gong Lu, 18, Alameda, CA
“I think that lawmakers have been doing a fantastic job thus far in incorporating girls into legal language and laws, and I think it needs to go further. It needs to move beyond including girls and putting girls at the forefront of what they do.” – Celia Buckman, 15, Chicago, IL
“World leaders are finally paying attention to a much needed issue surrounding girls, and they’re finally recognizing that educating a girl is the solution to many of their problems, so I’d say that in the meeting: Keep supporting girls because there are so many human rights being violated, and girls’ rights in general.” – Janet Ho, 18, Los Angeles, CA
“What I want to see for girls is as much equality as possible – whether that’s making sure education is a priority, whether that’s making sure that every person is getting a birth certificate and is being counted, and also that girls aren’t being married as children and aren’t becoming mothers as children. My message for world leaders is: Remember that girls are equally important as anyone else. When we focus on girls, we’re helping to improve the next generation of people.” – Anna McGuire, 15, Bethesda, MD