Why are we so thrilled about the Girl Declaration? Why should you sign the declaration too?
So often dry titles and updates abound in international development. Not so this year, in 2013.
This year sees the debut of the first, on-of-a-kind, truly novel and groundbreaking "Girl Declaration." This is a vibrant, almost singing, declaration of what is possible and what is demanded by girls who refuse to be left behind. 25 veteran international organizations talked with 508 girls living in poverty in 14 countries to create this [unique declaration](http://www.girleffect.org/media/139917/declaration_document_web_v6_26_9_13_copy.pdf). For the first time, policymakers and girls worked together to put their 'hopes, dreams and needs' on the agenda in the form of the "Girl Declaration":
1) Girls must reach adulthood with skills and knowledge to participate in economic, social and cultural life.
2) Girls must have access to appropriate health services
3) Girls must be free from violence and exploitation
4) Girls must be able to build and protect their assets..
5) Girls must have equal access to services, opportunities and legal rights
Take notice world-- take notice cultures that enslave, gag, suppress and violate girls. It is no longer tolerated and an incredibly strong global movement won't stop until girls reach their potential. These are some of the girls interviewed for this declaration:
Andressa,aged 16, Brazil
Gloria,aged 13, Kenya
Lantana,aged 13, Nigeria
Dina,aged 16, Egypt
Linda, aged 11, Liberia
Han Yue, aged 12, China
Sulan, aged 15, Philippines
Runanga, aged 11,Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ahsas, aged 19, Pakistan
Laiza,aged 1 4, Mexico
Beza,aged 16, Ethiopia
Nilam,aged 17, India
Hamida,aged 10, Indonesia
Uwamahoro,aged 14, Rwanda
Quoted on [The Girl Effect](http://www.girleffect.org/news/2013/10/global-development-leaders-unite-behind-girl-declaration/), the head of the Nike Foundation states:
"The Girl Declaration is based on overwhelming evidence - that girls not only face appalling discrimination in much of the world, but they are also the most powerful potential drivers of change in their families, communities and countries."
The questions these girls ask are questions for which we, the adults in the society, don't have all the answers. But they are ones that had better get answered:
# “I do not understand why a girl’s life is valued less than a boy’s.” Indonesia, 16-19
# “I want to finish my education without anyone insulting or humiliating me, and want no one to call me names.” Egypt, 13-15
# "They shouldn’t make the girls stay inside. They should just teach the boys how to behave.”
I can’t imagine a perfect day. I can’t imagine anything different to the life I’m living.” India, 16-19
As a whole, the world is actually safer and less violent, than it has been in the past. Let's make sure these girls know that everyone is working so that they can see it that way too. Please [sign the declaration on the GirlEffect.org](http://www.girleffect.org/2015-beyond/girls-voices/form/).