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In the foreword to this State of the World’s Children 2011 edition, Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF writes: “Adolescence is not only a time of vulnerability, it is also an age of opportunity. This is especially true when it comes to adolescent girls. We know that the more education a girl receives, the more likely she is to postpone marriage and motherhood – and the more likely it is that her children will be healthier and better educated. By giving all young people the tools they need to improve their own lives, and by engaging them in efforts to improve their communities, we are investing in the strength of their societies.”
The report also draws on recent research indicating that we can achieve progress more quickly and cost-effectively if we focus first on the poorest children in the hardest-to-reach places. Such a focus on equity will help all children, including adolescents.