When Malala Yousafzai speaks out about education, people tend to listen. That’s probably because Malala knows a thing or two about pursuing an education under some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable.
At the age of 15, Malala — who had blogged about education in Pakistan for the BBC under a pen name — was shot by the Taliban simply for going to school.
Far from letting this stop her, she set out to advocate for girls’ education around the world, in the process becoming the youngest-ever recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Now attending Oxford University, Malala continues to lift up her voice for the millions of girls who are still unable to go to school.
This morning, the student and activist again inserted herself into an important conversation about extending education to the world’s most vulnerable. In a tweet posted on the page of her nonprofit organization, the Malala Fund, she called on world leaders to fund the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The GPE is a global fund for education set up by private donors, NGOs, and other international organizations to work with developing countries on education initiatives. The organization hopes to raise $3.1 billion for these initiatives, which often reach some of the most educationally challenging parts of the world.
Here are four ways to join Malala and take action on global education:
1/ Listen to Malala — and Share Her Words
“My dream is to see every girl and every boy in school getting quality education,” Malala says in the video, “and the Global Partnership for Education is working on that.”
“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.”
2/ Call on World Leaders to #FundEducation.
This is the big one.
The world has until Feb. 2, or about 24 days, to fund the GPE, which will affect nearly 900 million children in 89 countries by 2020.
3/ Support Women and Girls’ Education.
Around the world, girls living in poverty must often confront myriad challenges to receive an education. According to UNICEF, girls are more than twice as likely as boys to be out-of-school in conflict settings. And in countries that face conflicts and instability, according to GPE statistics, only 74 girls attend school for every 88 boys.
With that in mind, the benefits of educating girls are numerous. Educating girls can reduce child marriage rates, leading to fewer teenage pregnancies and lower rates of child and maternal mortality; it can improve other health indicators, including HIV/AIDS rates; and it can even raise a country’s economic output.
Here are two actions you can take to improve access to education for girls worldwide: