While women's empowerment is crucial, girls' empowerment is also one of the most promising strategies we have to achieve sustainable development. Ensuring that girls are healthy, educated, and enabled to speak out for their own rights is key to creating a better world - for girls, their families, communities, and countries.
An epidemic sweeping across southern and eastern Africa reminds me of a hard truth in public health: diseases thrive in places where there is inequity and lack of opportunity. That epidemic -- HIV among adolescent girls and young women -- is threatening to roll back many gains made in the fight against HIV in the past 15 years.
With an estimated seven billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, it has also become easier to reach almost every household on earth with important information to influence their lifestyle and their choices. The pursuit of the SDGs will no longer stay the purview of the polity or parliaments but is in all of our hands. We must use our access to technology as a tool to shape our common journey.