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Finance & Innovation

Starbucks and Malala Are Empowering 250,000 Girls and Women Worldwide

For years, Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai has demanded that, when it comes to girls’ education, it’s time for corporations and governments to wake up and smell the coffee.

And on International Women’s Day, Starbucks listened.

On Thursday, Starbucks and the Malala Fund announced a multi-year investment designed to empower at least 250,000 girls, women, and families in coffee, tea, and cocoa- growing regions of India and Latin America. The program will extend into 2025.

“I want to thank Starbucks for believing in my dream of a world where girls can choose their own future,” Yousafzai said in a statement.

Take Action: Empower Girls and Women

Like several other mega-corporations, Starbucks has used International Women’s Day to champion women’s equality and empowerment around the world. But the coffee empire’s pledge to invest in girls’ education and create leadership opportunities for women in coffee-growing regions goes further than mere hollow gestures.

“We believe women and families hold the key to long-term empowerment and social change,” Starbucks Foundation Director Virginia Tenpenny said in a statement. “Looking ahead, we want to ensure our partnerships connect women with education and leadership opportunities needed to create healthy homes and sustainable livelihoods.”

Read More: 17 Amazing Tweets from International Women’s Day

Around the world, about 130 million girls are out of school, UNESCO estimates. Throughout India — one of the countries included in the Malala Fund-Starbucks partnership— nearly 600 million people live below the poverty line and 10% of girls are out school, The Atlantic reports.

In much of Latin America, indigenous girls face significant barriers to staying in school, including violence and poverty. In Bolivia, for example, more than half of indigenous girls drop out of school by age 14, the United Nations reports.

Global Citizen campaigns on ensuring girls get an education. You can take action here.

Read More: A Brief History of International Women’s Day

Starbucks is just the latest company to join forces with Yousafzai, a tireless advocate for girls’ education. For years, she has partnered with some of the world’s biggest companies to fund education projects and traveled the world to promote female empowerment.

“My dream is to see every girl and every boy in school getting quality education,” Malala said at the 2018 Global Partnership for Education. “I ask all governments, all countries, all world leaders to come and support Global Partnership for Education, so we can ensure 12 years of quality education to every child.”