This year’s theme is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls,” and highlights the role of data in contributing to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal 5, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.
New data shows there’s still more work to do UNICEF reported that girls ages 5 to 14 around the world spend about 550 million hours each day on household chores, 160 million more hours than boys their age spend. And a new report from Save the Children estimated that one girl under the age of 15 is married every 7 seconds.
But there has been progress, too. U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson visited Malawi on Monday to celebrate the achievements of the country in implementing a law passed last year raising the minimum marriage age to 18. According to U.N. Women, Malawi has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world, but the organization has worked with partners and tribal chiefs to implement the new law at a local level. “It’s so encouraging to see how such a harmful practice can be stopped when communities work together to pass laws, and then turn those laws into reality,” Watson said.
Girls are marking the day by taking over with a historic #GirlsTakeover, in which more than 250 girls will step into the shoes of leaders in politics, economics and society across 50 countries. The initiative, which aims to place girls in positions of power and influence where they are rarely seen and heard, will put girls in charge at Nickelodeon and MSNBC in the U.S., and in Canada, the Minister of the Status of Women will be replaced by a girl for a day. The President of Nepal and the Director General of the U.N.’s Geneva Office will also have their roles assumed by girls.