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Opinion Pieces Address Need For Inclusion Of Women, Girls In Post-2015 Development Agenda

The following is a summary of opinion pieces calling for the inclusion of women and girls in the post-2015 development agenda, published in recognition of the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11.

  • Eliza Anyangwe, The Guardian’s “Global Development Professionals Network” blog: Anyangwe, content manager for the blog, reports on how “[p]lacing adolescent girls at the heart of development programs can benefit entire communities.” A number of experts weigh in on “how best to implement the ‘girl effect'” (10/11).
  • Christy Turlington Burns, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: “Adolescent girls are not children, but they’re not quite adults,” making “them particularly vulnerable, powerless and at risk of different forms of exploitation,” Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts, writes. “They are a category on their own with very specific needs that global policy makers and the international humanitarian community must identify, understand and tackle appropriately,” she continues, adding, “It’s time for the international development community to identify them as a priority target, one that must be consulted when implementing and evaluating new programs and services” (10/11).
  • Jeni Klugman and Matthew Morton, Thomson Reuters Foundation opinion piece:  “The costs associated with gender-based violence, like the scale of the problem itself, are indeed staggering — in both individual suffering and lost productivity and earnings. And that creates unique obstacles to tackling poverty in many of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable countries,” Klugman, director of gender and development at the World Bank Group, and Matthew Morton, a social scientist and gender expert at the bank, write. “To address these issues, the World Bank Group, with its twin corporate commitments to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, has made gender equality a top priority, including tackling gender-based violence,” they continue, and outline some of the bank’s work.
  • Babatunde Osotimehin, Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog: “With just over 800 days remaining to the [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)] deadline, we must combine our efforts to tackle the top causes of maternal death and prevent unintended pregnancies,” Osotimehin, executive director of UNFPA, writes. “Increasing access to basic medicines and clean health supplies, for instance, could save the lives of tens of thousands of women every year. And many more deaths could be averted if women and girls could access contraceptives to plan their pregnancies. Yet, over 200 million women still lack access to this basic need,” he states, adding, “However, commodities alone cannot solve the problem of maternal death. Substantial investment will also be required to ensure that these supplies can actually reach the women who need them” (10/10).