Give maximum opportunities to girls: Ban Ki-moon

United Nations: On International Day of the Girl Child, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called on the world to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood.

Ban said the international community should enable girls to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect them against HIV transmission, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence,” Ban said. “If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society.”

Noting that the newly-adopted sustainable development goals include key targets for gender equality as well as women and girls empowerment, Ban called for implementation of the goals by 2030 to realise “the vision of a life of dignity for all”.

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.