ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus pens support for Day of the Girl Child

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2017 Invision

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017 file photo, Bjorn Ulvaeus poses for photographers in a recreation of the Polar recording studio in London. ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus talks exclusively to AP on UNICEF's International Day of the Girl Child about the challenges girls face and promoting girl's empowerment. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON – ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus grew up in at a time when his education was valued more than his sister’s, and he wants it to be different for girls around the world.

That’s the approach he took with his daughters, drawing inspiration from the women in his life.

“I’ve been surrounded by women, strong women for a long time,” Ulvaeus said, speaking about the need to empower female voices ahead of Sunday’s International Day of the Girl Child.

The day “it should be a cause for celebration, but the sad thing is that this girl child deserves so much more than the old men who rule the world are prepared to give her,” Ulvaeus wrote in a piece to support the day that he first shared with The Associated Press.

The piece begins: “Take a look at the old men who rule the world. With few exceptions their powers rest on cultures, religions and ideologies that suppress women.”

Ulvaeus said he was inspired to write about the need to support International Day of the Girl Child.

In 2011, the United Nations declared Oct. 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child to promote girls’ rights and address the challenges girls face around the world.

In his piece, Ulvaeus writes about how these powerful men are “afraid of the girl child” because “she represents a threat to their power Iike none other.”