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The Girl Declaration: One year in, one year to go
an article by The Girl Effect Team

Last weekend marked the one-year anniversary of the Girl Declaration. One year since girls from Egypt, Burkina Faso and Nepal presented the declaration to the United Nations on International Day of the Girl 2013. And one year since the declaration received support from UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who declared, "To shape a vision beyond [2015], we must address the concerns and potential of the world's girls."

click on photo to enlarge

2015 is fast approaching. The Millennium Development Goals expire next September, and it's crucial that the new set of development goals not only includes girls, but puts them at the heart of the agenda. The Girl Declaration is a tool designed to do just that.

Over the past year, the response to the Girl Declaration has been incredible. It's been featured at 18 global events in 13 cities across the world, and momentum continues to build. The long list of signatories to show their support reads like a who's who of the world's most influential figures: Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Desmond Tutu, Ban Ki-moon, Chelsea Clinton - the list of 150+ signatories goes on.

In February, 50 girls took the Girl Declaration to the African Union summit and read it aloud, prompting UN Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning Amina Mohammed to say: "The declaration is the very least of what [girls] have a right to. We shouldn't be asking, we should be demanding."

During the Commission on the Status of Women this past March, the Girl Declaration was featured in a special panel discussion. It then made waves at the Global Child Forum in Stockholm in April, where Nike Foundation VP and managing director Howard Taylor and Plan International CEO Nigel Chapman took it to the podium.

The Girl Declaration was shaped by the voices of 508 girls living in poverty across 14 countries. Girls like 16-year-old Andressa, who told us about the mounting violence where she lives in Brazil and how she hopes to become a paediatrician one day. Or the girls from Nigeria, who spoke of an unfair and expensive education system, often skewed towards boys. Our consultations proved beyond doubt that girls know exactly what they need, and the Girl Declaration was drawn up so that we can deliver it for them.

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The Girl Declaration puts to paper - and to the rest of the world - girls' thoughts and aspirations. Put simply,it is a robust, clearly laid out set of objectives and goals to take and incorporate into the post-2015 agenda. It's is a how-to document on ending global poverty within a generation.

There are less than 400 days left in the post-2015 agenda-setting process, which means that there are less than 400 days to make sure girls are wholly embedded in the new agenda that's drawn up.

Before the end of this year, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon will publish his synthesis report, which will bring together all of the work that's been done on the post-2015 agenda so far. It will also provide an overview of emerging issues in advance of the World Economic Forum meeting in January. After that, inter-governmental meetings will take place to dive into the details before the final high-level meetings next September.

With the potential to influence over $2 trillion of official development assistance over the next 15 years, your help is needed to ensure girls are at the front and centre of the intergovernmental negotiations to come.

This week, celebrate the Girl Declaration's anniversary with us by making it impossible to ignore. We need your support to  how our global leaders that the world cares about girls.

Continue to build momentum online by using #GirlDeclaration, and start your own campaign by downloading the Girl Declaration Brand & Communications tool kit.  You can also get in touch with your country's UN representative to urge them to prioritise girls next September. And, don't forget to ask your friends and family to sign up and pledge their support, too.

This is the moment to make girls impossible to ignore. . ...more.

This report was posted on October 18, 2014.