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11 October 2016
The theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl is based on the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. The slogan is: Girls’ Progress equals Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls.

The wellbeing, human rights and empowerment of the world’s 1.1 billion girls are central to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. When we agreed on that agenda, we promised girls quality education and health services.

We committed to ending discrimination and violence against girls, and harmful practices like child marriage. We pledged to leave no one behind.

Too often, in villages, shanty towns and refugee camps around the world, girls are the ones left behind: without nutritious food, healthcare or quality education, and at risk of sexual violence.

Investing in girls is both the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do. It has a powerful ripple effect across all areas of development, and reaches forward to future generations.

But what cannot be measured cannot be managed. If we do not gather the data we need, we will never know if we are delivering on our promises.

We need to make sure that our initiatives are reaching all girls: girls in extreme poverty; girls in isolated rural areas; girls living with disabilities; girls in indigenous communities; girls who are refugees or displaced within their own countries.

Timely, high-quality data is vital so that we know where we are meeting our promises, and where we are falling behind.

Let us all work hard to make sure we count all girls, because all girls count.