The Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development

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Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is an objective in and of itself. It is also essential for contributing to effectively and sustainably eradicating poverty worldwide and must begin before negative gender and cultural norms and attitudes are learned. We must approach the rights and needs of girls and women in an integrated way, across their life-cycles, from infancy to adulthood to old age. While adolescence represents a critical and promising period that can propel girls forward as agents of change, the specific needs of adolescent girls remain largely unmet.

Developing countries are experiencing a youth surge with the number of adolescents and young people at an all-time high. If adolescent girls’ human rights are upheld, and if given the tools and opportunities to fulfill their potential, they will contribute to poverty eradication and foster social transformation and inclusive economic growth. When countries invest in adolescent girls, they invest in a demographic dividend that will benefit them for decades to come. However, discrimination and ingrained social biases- which can be exacerbated in humanitarian, fragile and conflict settings- continue to limit their decision-making and their participation in their polities, economies and societies.

Unlocking the potential of a generation of adolescent girls will be essential to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda, contributing to peace, prosperity and equality. When empowered with the knowledge, skills, social networks, opportunities and services to succeed in life, and make informed choices, adolescent girls tend to marry later, bear children later, and have better health and economic outcomes for themselves leading to stronger, inclusive and more prosperous countries.

The G7 Ministers responsible for humanitarian action and development assistance will:

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