Girls “Best Investment” to Fight Poverty

Time Magazine's Executive Editor Highlights UN Foundation's Girl Up Campaign As Helping Create Next Generation Of Leaders

Washington, D.C.

February 7, 2011


Megan Rabbitt

The global girl movement got a boost on Friday when Time Magazine’s Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs released her essay in the magazine highlighting girls as the best investment to fight poverty, fuel growth and combat extremism.

In her column, “The Best Investment,” Gibbs stressed the ripple effect that occurs when we invest in adolescent girls globally and highlighted some of the factors that have helped ignite the girl movement within the U.S. — specifically drawing attention to Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s new “for girls, by girls” campaign encouraging American youth to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for their counterparts in developing countries. Gibbs cited the new campaign as helping “create the next generation of leaders, for the coming quiet revolutions.”

Adolescent youth are the fastest growing segment of the world’s population, primarily in the poorest developing countries. With one person in eight being a girl or young woman age 10–24, the welfare of the world’s girls fundamentally impacts a country’s economic, environmental and social outcomes. The fact that the world’s girls and young women tend to be less educated, less healthy and less free than their male counterparts impacts us all.

“The article raises awareness of something that we at the UN Foundation have been championing since our founding: if you want to change the world, you should invest in adolescent girls,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “Investing in adolescent girls is critical to meeting the world’s development goals. The well-being of adolescent girls is the key to eliminating poverty, achieving social justice, stabilizing the population, and preventing foreseeable humanitarian crises.”

When an adolescent girl in the developing world stays in school, she is more likely to find a job as an adult, have fewer children and is able to earn more for her family and community. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

To read the article, please visit:,9171,2046045,00.html.

To learn more about Girl Up, please visit:


About the United Nations Foundation 
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit