International Day of the Girl: No one should be left behind because she is a girl

Written by Neven Mimica on 11 October 2016 in Opinion

The list of discrimination against girls is still too long, writes Neven Mimica.

Neven Mimica | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

The theme of this year's International Day for Girls is 'Girls' Progress= Goals' Progress'. 

This is to say that there will be no progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals if we do not bring with us the 1.1 billion young women and girls worldwide - and I couldn't agree more.

My position is clear - no one should be left behind because she is a girl.


No one should be denied access to quality education. No one should be obliged to marry at an early age. No one should be exposed to sexual violence and harmful practices. I could go on and I could go further.

The list of discrimination against girls is still too long in 2016. This is simply wrong - and all of us, men and women alike, wherever we are and whatever we do, must do everything in our power to make this list disappear.

During my visits to partner countries, I have met so many strong, smart and bold girls. And those girls who have had access to education and health services can clearly testify to how this has given them more freedom, more choice and more power in life, as well as more opportunities to give back to their families and communities. 

So this is not only a smart thing to do, it is the only thing to do if we want to ensure an inclusive and sustainable global development for the generations to come.


About the author

Neven Mimica is European international cooperation and development Commissioner

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