Girls face violations of their rights around the world. As a global community, we can do better and do more to empower women and girls. UNICEF's Gender Programming focuses on addressing barriers to women's and girls' rights through innovative paths that focus on sustainable outcomes. An example is Techno Girl, a program that focuses on minimizing gender disparities in education and encourages girls and young South African women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Despite great strides in realizing the rights of women and girls, 5 million more girls of primary school age than boys are out of school globally. Maternal mortality reduction has been uneven; more than 800 women die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. And despite declines, 12 million girls are still married every year, and in countries where it is practiced, around a third of girls between 15 and 19 have undergone female genital mutilation.
UNICEF's gender programming focuses on four core initiatives: 1) violence in emergencies 2) girls' secondary education 3) ending child marriage 4) promoting girls' health. Each of these cuts across UNICEF's core programs of health, HIV and AIDS, nutrition, education, child protection, social inclusion, water, sanitation and hygiene. In the example of Techno Girl's, school-based interventions are used that focus on innovative learning methodologies in science, technology, engineering and math.
UNICEF aims for sustainable and generational change that affects girls today, as they become the women of tomorrow. UNICEF supports the most marginalized girls to complete their education, empowers adolescent girls to become catalysts of change, and works with parents and community members to be a part of girls' future in a way that empowers them and their rights. By working with governments, UNICEF supports the development of policies that will have a generational effect on women and girls.