What about boys?

Of course, poverty, violence, discrimination and lack of education do not just affect girls. Boys around the world also face these barriers and they too need help to overcome them. While the issues themselves may appear similar, the causes are quite different. Many of the challenges and injustices experienced by girls are directly related to their gender.

What does that mean? It means, for example, that of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls.Footnote 1 The reasons for this can be as simple as a lack of girls' washrooms at school, or as complex as broader problems like poverty and social expectations. For instance, girls in some communities are responsible for household chores and caring for the family, and are therefore kept at home and denied educational opportunities.

International Day of the Girl raises awareness of inequalities, like these, that girls experience simply because they are girls. Acknowledging and understanding the root of these problems is the first step in solving them.

Emma Watson at the United Nations to announce the HeForShe Campaign 2014

British actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, co-hosts a special event for UN Women's HeForShe campaign.

We are all in this together

Both boys and girls have a critical role to play in building a society that empowers every member to contribute fully. Youth of both sexes are influential among their peers and can be leaders and champions for equality and human rights.

Girls and boys, women and men, must work together to create communities that are strong, safe and equal for all. As members of a wider community, we all have an important stake in ensuring that everyone's human rights are protected and enforced. For ideas on how you can be part of the solution, visit the HeForShe website or check out our tips for celebrating International Day of the Girl.

Strong Girls. Strong World.

When girls succeed, we all benefit.

Despite the challenges they face, girls remain vitally important within society – they are future leaders, business women, professionals and employees, as well as partners and mothers. When girls don't have basic human rights, it weakens the whole community. Girls, boys, women and men all suffer when girls are not empowered to reach their full potential.

When treated fairly and given a good start in life, girls make invaluable contributions that benefit everyone around them. For example, when a girl is educated, her own children are more likely to be healthy and to go to school.Footnote 2

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