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A statistic is not only a number – it tells a human story. It speaks of people’s health and well-being, problems and prospects, and socio-economic circumstances. When collected and analysed well, statistics can advance sustainable development, identifying those at risk of being left behind. We celebrate World Statistics Day at a moment when reliable and timely data are needed more than ever before.
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“I slept in the toilet for three days because my mother chased me out of the house,” says Julie Atieno*, 13. As she describes her ordeal under the lockdown to a mentor, she can barely hold back her tears. Girls growing up in Kibera, a large informal settlement in Nairobi, face many challenges, including teenage pregnancy.
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The story of 12-year-old Amanda in Zambia, who has large dreams, is the story of millions of girls in Africa. She sees a hopeful future ahead, one in which her voice is heard, her rights are respected and a world of opportunities awaits her. As we celebrate International Day of the Girl Child, let the voices of girls become louder.

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