7 Reasons the World Needs the Girls’ Rights Platform

June 18, 2018

With more than 1,400 international policy documents, the Girls’ Rights Platform sheds light on the gaps in the laws related to girls.

We know that girls face discrimination in their communities, but it doesn’t end there. They are also being failed by the very legal frameworks that are meant to protect them.

Despite milestone agreements and promises to tackle gender inequality, millions of girls worldwide struggle to claim their rights because their specific needs are not sufficiently addressed by lawmakers.

The Girls’ Rights Platform is the result of an in-depth study of the status of girls in international law. It is the world’s most comprehensive, searchable database of more than 1,400 international policy documents shedding light on gaps in the law relating to girls.

Think of it as a sort of “Google” for girls’ rights!

Here are the reasons why it is needed!

  1. Girls are the most excluded group in the world.

    Girls face the double burden of being both young and female. Both result in discrimination.

    We believe that by singling them out, using gender-specific language, and addressing their individual needs, we can help even more girls defend their rights, live full lives, and thrive in their communities.

  2. Girls in poverty and the disabled are even more excluded.

    Where factors like poverty, ethnicity, or disability intersect with being a girl—and where gender stereotyping and unequal power structures prevail—the disadvantages of girls are magnified. This further limits their freedom, bodily autonomy, and access to education and opportunity.

  3. The statistics are shocking.

    Here’s just a handful of them: 

      • Half of all sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16 years old. 
      • 41,000 girls are forced into marriage every day.
      • 32 million primary school-aged girls worldwide do not attend school. 
  4. Girls can be invisible. They need laws that reflect their unique needs.

    Too often, girls’ issues are not tackled because they fall between the priority areas of women’s and children’s rights. Rarely are girls mentioned as a specific demographic in international law.

    Where girls are mentioned, there is a failure to fully reflect the unique and specific barriers they face that are different to those faced by women or boys.

    The girls’ rights platform as a resource will make it easier for policymakers to submit revisions and new laws that specifically address girls’ rights issues.

  5. To create a more informed movement in the pursuit of girls’ rights.

    This one is simple: knowledge is power. The platform makes it easier for those who advocate and litigate for girls’ rights to quickly get up to speed on the status of girls in international law. 

  6. To fuel the girls’ rights movement.

    Never before has a platform of this scale been created to tackle girls’ rights issues. 

    Alongside the world’s largest database of policy documents involving girls, there are training tools for girls’ rights advocates and negotiators, as well as a UN debate tracker that will be used to hold states accountable for their promises. 

  7. The international community must commit to the realization of girls’ rights.

    If we don’t make girls’ rights a priority, we are at risk of failing on Global Goal No. 5—to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030