'Today, 600 million adolescent girls are preparing to enter a world of work transformed by innovation and automation,' said Antonio Guterres said in his message on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, observed on October11.
'They are the largest generation in history and a vast source of ideas and solutions for all career fields. Yet, far too often, girls are not given the space and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. Multiple barriers include systematic discrimination, biases and lack of training.'
Saying that 'concerted efforts' are needed to overcome the obstacles, he said, 'Negative gender stereotypes related to girls’ education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics begin as early as primary school, and have the devastating effect of making them doubt their own potential.'
He added that the number of girls attending school is the highest ever; however, 'many are still not getting the skills necessary for life long success. Moreover, it is estimated that, five years from now, over one third of the abilities considered important in today’s workforce will have changed.'
'We need to equip girls with transferable and life long skills, such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.'