Adolescent Girls

© UNESCO/José Gabriel Ruiz Lembo

Too often marginalized, adolescent girls bear the burden of sex discrimination and human rights violations. Specific investments are needed to protect marginalized girls and provide opportunities to girls at risk of school dropout and exclusion, child marriage, HIV infection, exploitation and other human rights violations simply because they are young and female. To respond to these issues in order to protect adolescent girls, the mobilization of global investment is required.  

The UN Interagency Task Force (IATF)

The IATF on Adolescent Girls, established in 2007, is supporting the UN’s work with governments and partners in their efforts to develop policies and programmes to reach adolescent girls, in particular those who are marginalized. 

Through a common programme framework and shared resources, the UN agencies, including UNESCO, work with governments and partners across all sectors to reach marginalized adolescent girls, and enable them to:

  • access education;
  • stay healthy;
  • earn a living;
  • live freely of violence and abuse; and
  • participate as active citizens in their societies.  

UNESCO participates in the IATF on Adolescent Girls in order to support a coordinated UN response in ensuring that programmes of cooperation with governments and civil society raise awareness on the situation of marginalized adolescent girls, and prescribes practical action to fulfil their rights.  

The Task Force is co-chaired by UNFPA and UNICEF, and includes the ILO, UNESCO, UNIFEM, and WHO. The Division for Gender Equality, Bureau of Strategic Planning, is coordinating UNESCO’s contribution to this initiative.

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