Global development leaders unite behind Girl Declaration

Malala Yousafzai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Barbara Bush and Queen Rania of Jordan have all shown their support for the Girl Declaration. Now we need you to back it too.

"Some day, they will say: this is the moment when the world woke up to my potential."

Those words are from the Girl Declaration - a rallying call to make sure girls' needs are fully reflected in the post-2015 development goals.

Girls were ignored in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015. The Girl Declaration is launched today to make sure the world doesn't repeat that mistake.

Pakistani girl activist Malala Yousafzai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Queen Rania of Jordan, Barbara Bush, United Nations Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, CARE CEO Helene Gayle, Microsoft and the Intel Foundation have all signed the Declaration.

Calvin says: "Girls are one of the most potent weapons against poverty. A healthy, educated, empowered adolescent girl has the unique potential to break the cycle of poverty for herself, her family and her country.

"The Declaration represents the voices of 250 million girls living in poverty today. The world needs to listen to them and act now to end poverty."

End poverty before it starts

The Declaration is the first time the international community has come together around a common agenda for adolescent girls.

It will be delivered to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on International Day of the Girl (IDG) next week (11 October).

Over the next 10 days we need you to make it famous, so that world leaders can't ignore girls again. We need you to read it,believe it and share it. With your support the Girl Declaration can end poverty before it starts. 

2015 & beyond

The Declaration was created in partnership with 25 development organisations. More than 500 girls in 14 countries across four continents were asked about their hopes and ambitions - which, if unleashed, can end poverty for good.

Discover what the girls said in our new 2015 & Beyond section

Nigel Chapman, CEO, Plan International, one of the organisations involved in the consultations, says: "Supporting girls to realise their rights and aspirations is one of the best investments we can make to end poverty.

"Providing girls and boys with the opportunity to complete a quality education is central. This is why Plan International is supporting the Girl Declaration and calling for adolescent girls to be at the heart of the post-2015 agenda."

Girls' voices

The Girl Declaration sets out five goals for girls around education, health, safety, economic security and citizenship.

The CEO of the Nike Foundation, Maria Eitel, one of the co-ordinators of the Declaration, says: "We have listened to the voices of girls and now we are asking leaders in every country around the world to do the same.

"The Girl Declaration is based on overwhelming evidence - that girls not only face appalling discrimination in much of the world, but they are also the most powerful potential drivers of change in their families, communities and countries."

At a preview of The Girl Declaration at Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York last week, one of Plan International's Youth Ambassadors - Farwa, from Pakistan - said: "If boys can go to school, then girls can also go. If boys can earn money, so can girls. If boys can go to the moon, so can I!"

Let's make that happen.

Find out more about the Girl Declaration and hear the voices of the girls who helped to create it

Follow #GirlDeclaration on Twitter to see who's supporting it