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World gender equality

Published: 11 Oct 2016 10:00

Speed mentoring event for UN International Day of the Girl.

Gender equality is a basic right that should be recognised by communities and governments around the world 365 days of the year, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance has said on the UN International Day of the Girl.

Ms Constance pledged to champion the rights of girls and women wherever they live in the world after taking part in a speed mentoring event with 250 school girls at the London Eye as part of the Day of the Girl celebrations.

She joined 250 mentors including Jo Brand, Mary Portas, Lily Cole and Heather Stanning at the special event organised to recognise the challenges girls face around the world and acknowledge their achievements.

For the event, participants were divided into capsules on the London Eye, with Ms Constance providing advice and guidance to three girls on board.

She said: "It's a sad fact that around the world girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis and can face barriers to accessing even the most basic education and healthcare.

"But it is also incredible that out of such adversity there can be incredible and inspiring achievements. Just think what women could do if they were given all the opportunities that men are, wherever they live in the world. And there is no reason that should not happen.

"The UN International Day of the Girl recognises communities and governments need to do more to fully empower women and girls not just on one day, but 365 days of the year.

"We must all acknowledge the significant international gender inequality and do everything we can to tackle the injustices and hardships faced by many young girls and women around the globe.

"Even in Scotland women are still significantly under-represented when it comes to key decision-making positions. We want girls to understand that this is not acceptable and we will continue to lead by example when it comes to taking action to address this.

"If we can make progress with gender equality – both in Scotland and overseas - we can help individuals flourish and reach their full potential, which will ultimately create a wealthier and fairer society."

Notes to editors

For more information about the International Day of the Girl Speed Mentoring event go to: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/international-day-of-the-girl-1001063

More information about the UN International Day of the Girl is available at: http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/