Gender inequality starts early in life for girls around the world, and the effects often last a lifetime. If girls don't receive a quality education, they can’t earn enough to provide for themselves and their families or be financially independent. According to a new report by UNESCO, an estimated 130 million girls around the world are currently out of school, with the highest proportion aged 15-17.
The UK government’s Statement of Action for girls’ education is a plan to ensure that every girl can go to school and learn. More than 20 organizations and governments, including the UK, US, Norway, Canada, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Afghanistan, have agreed to support the Statement of Action. We now need more governments to not just sign up to the Statement of Action, but also to show support for adolescent girls through political and financial commitments.
The Republic of Korea invested heavily in education and has reaped the rewards of prioritizing education for boys and girls equally. The 2015 Incheon declaration, signed in Korea, commits countries to support equal education opportunities for all children, because they value women's abilities to contribute to their economics. Through Korea’s Better Life for Girls initiative, the Korean government has attempted to tackle gender inequality in learning and to help girls in developing countries unlock their full potential. We want them to expand on this good work and invest more in girls education initiatives through the Statement of Action.
Nigeria has felt the impact and heartbreak of the struggle to achieve equal education firsthand due to Boko Haram’s terrorism. A strong commitment to the Statement of Action is needed to ensure Nigeria invests more in girl-friendly schools, takes a tougher stance on student security, persuades communities that educating girls is vital, and reassures girls that schools are safe enough to attend.
Join us in calling on Korea and Nigeria to take the first step in closing the gender gap in education by signing up to an action plan that will ensure no girl is left behind.