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A Momentous Year for Girls' Rights

The year 2017 has seen some groundbreaking wins for girls’ rights.

In February, Malawi outlawed child marriage, thanks to activists like Memory. In March, Sophie delivered a petition of 39,000 signatures to ask for better sexual health services in Uganda, which led to a new government training program for sexual health workers.

In June, Kenyan girls secured a historic law for free sanitary pads thanks to activists such as 15-year-old Joyce. In August, Jordan abolished its “rape law,” which allowed abusers who named their victims to be exonerated of their crimes. With the help of young activists, Lebanon quickly followed suit.

Over the summer four Latin American countries banned child marriage, and in September the President of Niger—the country with the highest child marriage rate—announced that the practice would no longer be tolerated. In October, we told the world #GirlsBelongHere, with an impactful #GirlsTakeover campaign. More than 1,000 girls across 64 countries took over positions of power, resulting in some huge girls’ rights successes!

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