Societies where women and girls are empowered are more prosperous and stable - not occasionally, but always.
Secretary Kerry at an Equal Futures Partnership event on the margins of UNGA, September 22, 2014
ISIL’s Abuse of Women and Girls Must Be Stopped
Beheadings are not the only horrors perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL. Over the past two months, there has been a tragic stream of reports about thousands of women and girls abducted from their families and sold in markets. These violent extremists are attacking their own women and girls.
While captive, these women and children have been tortured, raped, given to ISIL thugs as “brides,” or kept as sex slaves. Some have committed suicide to avoid sexual enslavement. Others have been forced to watch as ISIL beat their children to coerce the women into converting to Islam. Some have simply been executed. Hundreds of women and girls have been taken from Iraq to ISIL camps in Syria and never heard from again.
Even when girls do attend school, they often do so at great risk.
Our Outrage Must Be a Call to Action
The world has been transfixed and horrified by the brutality of a group of extremists toward nearly 300 schoolgirls and unnamed others in northeastern Nigeria. The plight of these girls has rightly captured the global public’s heart and mind. For daring to seek an education, these girls and others have become the face of unspeakable violence at the hands of Boko Haram.
Unfortunately, they are not alone. Women and girls in staggering numbers are beaten, sexually abused, married off as children, mutilated, and killed every day around the world.
You represent some of the brightest minds that are aiming at the brightest stars in the sky… Be the next women to take the reins and succeed!
Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan on girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics