UNFPA Targets 10 Year-Old Girls
Thursday, October 20, 2016
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today released its flagship report State of World Population 2016 (SWOP 2016) centered on the lives of 10-year-old girls. UNFPA believes: "The world's future will be determined by the fate of its 10-year-old girls". It intends to focus on this age group in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the report, "An estimated 125 million 10-year-olds are alive today, part of the largest number of young people in human history." This group has been labeled the
so-called 'SDG Generation' for its greatly anticipated role in the elimination of poverty,achievement of economic growth, and improved health and well-being for all by 2030 when they will be young adults in the workforce.

Of the 125 million 10-year-olds, the largest numbers are in India and China, accounting for an estimated 20% and 12.3% of the worldwide number of 10-year-olds. The United States is the only one of the 10 countries with the largest number of the age group that is not classified as "less developed".

Not surprising, there is a stark difference in the sex ratio; just over 60 million 10-year-olds are girls, and 65 million are boys. In Asia and the Pacific, the SWOP states that "
there are 111 boys for every 100 girls. This is largely driven by significant differences in the numbers of boysand girls in a handful of countries, including India and China, where there are 112 and 117 boys, respectively, for every 100 girls."

The cause, the most deadly form of discrimination against girls-sex selective abortion-is barely noted in the report, contained within a set of parenthesis. SWOP explains that the uneven sex ratio in China and India "is largely driven by a strong preference for male children, which results in discrimination against girl children both before they are born (in the form of prenatal sex selection) and afterwards (in the form of discriminatory practices that increase the mortality of girl)."

SWOP reiterates the tragic finding that suicide is now the leading cause of death for adolescent girls between 15 and 19 worldwide and the second leading cause of death for adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19 globally.

The report, on the surface, appears to focus on issues which enjoy support from advocates for human dignity and the right to life including equal access to primary and secondary education, girls' access to nutritious food and health care, protection from child marriage, violence, sexual abuse and child labor, and opportunity for employment. The latter is especially true of countries with high numbers of 10-year-olds, including India, China and Nigeria, where rapidly growing economies are presenting youth with improved opportunities.

The radical agenda driven aspects of the report emerge in the SWOP list of "10 essential actions for the 10-year-old girl" with the action to "Use the 2030 Agenda data revolution to better track progress for girls, including on sexual and reproductive health." The agreed upon indicators for tracking progress on the SDG target to "Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights" refers only to older adolescent girls and women, 15-49 years of age. Attempts by select countries, UN entities, and pro-abortion NGOs to include younger adolescent girls beginning at age 10 in the indicators on access to sexual and reproductive health have so far not been successful.

Is the State of World Population 2016 report and its promotion of the controversial idea of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for 10-year-old girls an attempt to circumvent the UN SDG indicator process? Country UNFPA offices all over the world are celebrating today's release of the SWOP report and conducting their own launches of the report.

UNFPA in the report calls for unity surrounding 10-year-old girls:
"Women, youth and reproductive health advocates have all been leaders in changing norms, but mainly in their separate arenas. The well being of the 10-year-old girl is in the interest of all and consistent with their principles. She could be a point where they join forces, unlocking rapid progress so that she is no longer left out and left behind."

SWOP recommends "Key Investments to empower girls, give them choices" that includes "through comprehensive sexuality education" and "through access to sexual and reproductive health information, services and supplies, including contraceptives." Abortion is considered to be a "reproductive health service".

The report also states, "Comprehensive sexuality education, coupled with access to a range of contraceptive options and other sexual and reproductive health-care services, on the other hand, allows adolescents to start making choices suitable for them, while reducing rates of pregnancy and HIV transmission."

One of the ways that UNFPA secures the support of parents is through "conditional cash transfer programs" where parents are given a financial incentive to ensure that their daughter remains in school and to purchase school supplies and food. They also agree to allow their daughter "to attend a community programme for girls, where she starts to learn about reproductive health-including puberty, pregnancy, contraceptive use and sexually transmitted infections-decision-making and life skills."

UNFPA believes that 10-year-old girls "will shape the future of her community and our shared world" and is working to influence these impressionable girls.