2015 Will Be a Year for Girls

Advocacy , Global Goals , Supporters in Action

2000 was an important year for many people. Many of my classmates were born, the New York Yankees won the World Series, and then-United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduced the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

The MDGs are a set of 8 goals aimed at cutting poverty in half, and they are set to expire this year in 2015. These goals, which span a range of issues including improving maternal health and ending gender inequality, helped shape global development for the past 15 years.  But this year world leaders will be coming together to work with the UN to decide the next set of global development goals.

On January 15, I had the awesome opportunity to join many other 15 year olds in Washington, D.C. for the official launch of action/2015. action/2015 is a joint effort between a flotilla of organizations – including Girl Up, Save The Children, and ONE – that want to see an end to extreme poverty. I had the privilege to meet and speak with important U.S. policy makers including Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom and USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah. Our efforts in Washington were replicated in events involving 15 year olds around the world.

As a 15 year old, I have an opportunity to influence the global landscape for the next 15 years. I know I need to stand up and speak out to ensure girls’ needs are represented in the new set of global development goals. By voicing my opinions and speaking on behalf of the issue I find most important, I can have an impact on what policies are passed.

But, I’m not the only one who has this chance.

All teens should speak out, and speak loudly. The global policy over the next 15 years will affect our environment, our families, our workplace, our opportunities and our education. I can barely imagine life at age 20, let alone life at age 30. But if I don’t advocate for the issues I find important, who knows what the world will be like when I blow out the candles on my 30th birthday cake.

Anna McGuire action/2015 launch

To all my fellow teens, I get it – we’re all busy. But take a minute and get involved in action/2015. Tweet at global leaders, find a cause you are passionate about and speak up. Learn about issues and look up organizations that are helping to make a change. Teenagers have the opportunity to make a change for the next 15 years, so don’t waste it.

You might be wondering where and how to start. I’ve activated my friends and family to join me in making sure girls are a priority in the post-2015 agenda on social media.

Join me and the action/2015 movement by showing you support the empowerment of girls everywhere. Tweet this: Girls are powerful. That’s why I’m joining with @GirlUp to make sure girls are front-and-center in the new development goals. #action2015