(Delayed for technical reasons.)
Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the Girls Up Leadership Summit, on 13 July:
I am delighted to join you as you lead the charge for a more inclusive, equal and sustainable world. You are all inspiring changemakers in your own right — and you are only getting started.
While girls and women are at the frontline of the COVID-19 response, we are also disproportionately affected by the pandemic. There is no doubt that this crisis has stalled progress and widened disparities. But this shouldn’t stop us; it should fuel us. Now more than ever, we have to stay focused and double down on our efforts to break boundaries and glass ceilings.
At the heart of our work is the conviction that we are investing in a future for girls and women who will one day experience equality as their undeniable right — not an exceptional circumstance or privilege. There is a long road ahead of us, one that we must continue to walk together, because when girls and women rise, we all rise. The transformative leadership that Girl Up encourages gets it just right: first becoming a leader of self, then a leader of peers and ultimately a leader of change.
For change to happen everywhere, it must start somewhere. And that is where you come in. With more than 4,500 clubs in 125 countries, you are growing this movement for gender equality and for a world that values the contributions of women in society beyond traditional gender roles. We are counting on you to rewrite the narrative for future generations of girls, and we stand by your side on this journey. The world needs you to continue to show up and speak out against injustice, inequality and disparity wherever it occurs.
Your youth is your strength. You are uniquely positioned to drive change. I wish you the very best for success in the hard work ahead.