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Liz Ford – The world’s future hinges on supporting 10-year-old girls, says UN

Ten-year-old Daline enjoys reading, dancing and using her mother’s make up. And she loves school. Her favourite subject is chemistry.

“When I was at primary school, my favourite subject was history,” she says. “But now that I am at secondary school, my new favourite subject is chemistry because it is easy to understand, because chemicals are easy to make, and because I love science.”

Daline, who will turn 11 next month, lives with her parents and two younger brothers in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé.

She does some housework – “I wash plates, clean the floor and the compound, and sometimes I cook food” – but so does her brother, who “helps me to sweep the floor”. She definitely prefers going to school to staying at home.

But on the cusp of adolescence, the support received by Daline – and the 65 million other 10-year-old girls around the world – over the coming years will have a huge bearing not only on her life, but also on the future of her country and the global economy.

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