“Adolescence is often when a girl is first subject to the cultural values that define what it means to be a woman in her society. Girls across the globe are counting on us to be bold and creative to give them the opportunities they deserve.” – U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama
Objective: Harness Geneva’s multilateral fora and enhance opportunities to ensure adolescent girls have access to the full range of appropriate health services.
Where We Are
While data shows that progress has been made on women’s health, positive change has been slow and sporadic when it comes to the availability of appropriate health care for adolescent girls. The lack of specialized adolescent services has serious negative repercussions on adolescent girls becoming healthy productive women and leaders. More needs to be done in areas such as sexual and reproductive health, female genital mutilation (FGM), and prevention of adolescent maternal mortality, sexual violence, chronic diseases, and HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Adolescent girls may share health problems with their mothers, but their age and role in society means their problems do not necessarily have the same solutions. Adolescent girls will continue to fall between the cracks unless we work together for cross-cutting solutions for The Future She Deserves.
What We Need…
is Geneva’s collective action to ensure adolescent girls have access to the full range of appropriate health services, including programs tailored to the developmental challenges of adolescent girls and specific plans for outreach and health communication.
How We’ll Do It
Geneva offers a unique platform to address the health needs of adolescent girls. Together, we can identify targeted interventions and activities at Geneva-based international meetings and programs that highlight adolescent girls’ health. Collectively, member states, civil society, and experts can influence how United Nations agencies and others ensure that health initiatives consider the adolescent girl whenever possible. First steps should include:
- Strengthen synergies between health actors and programs for adolescent girls;
- Place adolescent girls at the center of international investment on maternal health, expanding adolescent-oriented family planning services and services focusing on the inherent complexities of adolescent pregnancy;
- Focus attention on HIV prevention on adolescent girls across Geneva platforms, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa;
- Advocate for increased access to health services and vaccinations for girls, including appropriate prevention and treatment programs for communicable diseases; and,
- Expand understanding and support for proven interventions to address the continuing problems of intimate partner, domestic, and sexual violence.