We've seen what is most difficult to measure and most fundamental to change: the power a girl holds within herself. That power burns bright in amazingly brave girls as they challenge convention and open whole new horizons of change.
Violence against women and girls has impeded progress on nearly every MDG. This includes efforts to reach the MDG 6 target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS--an epidemic that still disproportionally affects women and girls in many countries.
It's time to make a radical shift, to start seeing girls not as vulnerable or as a liability, but as potential leaders. It's time to see girls for who they are: the driving force of their generation, one poised to bring real social change.
Today, on her 16th birthday, Malala spoke at the UN in her first time speaking on a public platform after her shooting. Today is a moment to focus the world's attention on the 57 million children -- including 32 million girls -- who do not have access to education.
The focus on violence is desperately needed -- one in three women will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetimes. The enormity of this problem demands that both governments and civil society develop new strategies to protect women and girls from violence.
Violence against women is not linked to specific countries, regions, religions, classes, races or ethnicities -- it happens all over the world from stable, developed economies to fragile, corrupt states.
A magazine cover isn't the be all or end all in anyone's noteworthy story. But given that so many people ignore that violence against women and girls is accepted on many levels, putting the face of a girl who's managed to survive it could go a long way to force them to acknowledge the reality.