By: Jaweria Afreen Hussaini

Women make up 51% of the population but are dramatically underrepresented in political leadership. We must encourage parents and teachers to tell a girl to run for office. Because if you tell her she can do it, she will believe you.

We must focus on making progress rather than achieving parity.

Educating girls has beneficial effects on society which can contribute to the development of entire countries. However, girls are far more likely to remain excluded from school. Education is every child’s right and is key to tackling poverty, climate change and gender equality.By funding quality education for all children and addressing the barriers preventing equal participation at school, we can enable girls to reach their full potential and take the lead – in school, at home and in their communities.

Now action must follow the promises made on girls’ education. Across the world girls suffer injustices every day simply because they are young and female. Encourage the support to the girls to take the lead and influence their decisions that matter to them. We need to take action and campaign for girls today so they have the power to transform their futures.

If we are to ensure girls are not left behind, an important first step is to ensure girl-specific rights are recognized, and realized as human rights. Agenda commitments for girls means challenging social norms and power relations. It can only happen by strengthening the movement for girls’ rights. We must empower and develop new allies – including boys and young men – while supporting girls and young women already at the front lines demanding their rights.