According to Osotimehin, exploiting the power of data is one of the most critical tools for development and for protecting and promoting adolescent girls’ rights.
In a statement delivered at the official celebration of International Day of the Girl Child Osotimehin mentioned that adolescent girls needs people who can shape policies and initiatives that positively affects their lives.
Osotimehin mentioned that the state of the world population report, to be launched by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, later this month, examines how the support we provide to adolescent girls today will determine our collective well-being tomorrow.
"We at UNFPA are committed to supporting adolescent girls to reach their full potential and determine their own destinies. Every girl counts”, he lamented.
He narrated “what counts for girls is to be counted. Data that can make the lives of every girl, in every setting, visible and accessible are essential to sustained progress”.
He indicated access to this type of data and information, policymakers, communities, civil society organizations, youth-led groups, activists and girls themselves can shape policies and initiatives that positively affect the lives of millions of girls around the world.
“Investing in adolescent girls, allows them to stay in school, gain skills, marry, have fewer and healthier children, and earn a larger income to invest back into their families and communities”, he said.
He stated these investments must be driven and informed by high-quality data for maximum impact and results, and to track progress. This is particularly important for identifying and tackling the needs of the most marginalized girls those about whom we often know the least.
“Fewer than 50 countries can provide data that are disaggregated by sex and age. Vast gaps in data exist in many areas, including poverty, intimate-partner violence, and adolescent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth complications, especially in the 10- to 14-year-old age range”, he averred.
He supposed “as a result, the challenges many girls face remain unaddressed, and this valuable segment of society is repeatedly unable to realize its full potential. Every girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for her”.