A Call for Investment in Teenage Girls

Harare, 11 July 2016 - “When countries invest in the health and education of their youth, especially teenage girls, and create opportunities for them to realize their full potential, they are also better positioned to realize a demographic dividend, which can propel economic growth to combat poverty,” UNFPA Deputy Representative, Mr. Yu Yu  has said.

Mr. Yu Yu addressed United Nations agencies and partners in Zimbabwe during World Population Day on 11 July with the theme “Investment in teenage girls”, calling on partners to reap the demographic dividend.

In Zimbabwe, 24% of girls aged between 15 and 19 years are married or in a union, a majority of them living in rural areas. Through the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), the United Nations supports national global efforts to empower girls to reach the Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality.

With a concerted advocacy efforts child marriages have been banned in Zimbabwe by the constitutional court in Zimbabwe recently.

In line with the commitment of the UN under ZUNDAF, UNFPA works with the government and partners to invest in teenage girls through programmes in family planning, HIV prevention, ending gender-based violence and promoting adolescent sexual and reproductive health such as Sista2Sista Club girls’ empowerment programme.