There are over 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade.
More than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.
This year, the International Day of the Girl is themed With Her: A Skilled GirlForce. The global community is being called upon to help young girls attain the skills they need to thrive in STEM and other sectors of the economy.
According to the United Nations, in order to develop A Skilled GirlForce, the global community should:
- Rapidly expand access to inclusive education and training.
- Improve the quality and gender-responsiveness of teaching and learning to enable girls to develop foundational, transferable and job-specific skills for life and work.
- Create inclusive and accessible schools, training and learning opportunities to empower girls with disabilities.
- Change gender stereotypes, social norms and unconscious bias to provide girls with the same learning and career opportunities as boys.
- Increase girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.
- Create initiatives to support girls’ school-to-work transition, such as career guidance, apprenticeships, internships and entrepreneurship.
- Deliver large-scale public and private sector programming for girls’ skills and market-adapted training.
- Enable access to finance and enterprise development for female entrepreneurs.
- Form strategic partnerships with governments and private companies which can act as thought leaders and financiers, helping to train girls and bring them into the workforce.
Let us stand with her – the future freelancer, entrepreneur, teacher, scientist, and software engineer – to develop skills now and remove other gender barriers she faces, so that she and every girl can join A Skilled GirlForce.