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Girls & Women

How Norway plans to help get 62 million girls in school

Flickr: GSK

Remember when Global Citizen and Stephen Colbert bugged the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg so much that she gave in and committed to coming to the 2015 Global Citizen Festival?

Maybe this video will jog your memory:

Well, global citizens tweets and calls to Norway got Prime Minister Solberg here, and we now have her answer on your requests to increase funding for the Global Partnership for Education. In addition, Norway made ANOTHER commitment that will contribute towards providing access to education for the 62 million girls who are out-of-school.

how norway plans to help get 62 million girls to school-b1.jpgImage: Global Citizen

Clearly, this one is two parter—because those Nordic countries have a tendency to be overachievers, (see here.) And yes, you may be thinking...Global Citizen has asked a lot from Norway, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg. But, that’s because we know Norway is leader in girls education and can make a large difference in achieving universal education.

Along with neighboring countries Finland, and Sweden, Norway closed the gender gap in education.

The Norwegian government is working on solutions to provide education for 10 percent of primary school children who do not have access to quality education, especially those in regions of conflict.

Now, Norway joins the movement to close the gender gap in education for the rest of the world.

So, global citizens asked Norway to commit to spending $100 million USD toward the Global Partnership for Education over the next five years, with some help from the 2015 Global Citizen Festival host Stephen Colbert. And...Norway is going to double their commitment to GPE funding over the next 3 years!

But that’s not all.

Norway plans to provide at least (Side note: exchange rates between the krone—NOK fluctuate) $6 million (USD) toward improving sanitation for the 2 billion people who lack access.

This is a big deal because in the past Sweden has been a major leader on sanitation. As you might know we asked Sweden to commit to improve sanitation for 50 million people, and on Saturday at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival Prime Minister Löfven took Global Citizen’s 50 million and raised it to commit to improve sanitation for 60 million people.

Living in New York, I appreciate when competition leads to good deeds. Norway taking on sanitation is a fantastic example of this.

Why is Norway jumping on the sanitation bandwagon?

It’s all in the name of my personal favorite Global Goal...number 5—gender equality. More specifically, girls education.

Clean water and sanitation keep girls in school. According to UNICEF a study showed that girls attendance increased 12 percent in Tanzania when access to clean water was provided.

Lack of sanitation causes girls to miss school all over the world, especially in developing countries because of cultural stereotypes, and taboos on periods. In Sierra Leone, one out of five girls misses school because of her period and proper sanitation combined with education can combat the gender gap in education.

So, thanks Norway for providing one more stepping stone on the pathway to gender equality and education for all.


Go to TAKE ACTION NOW help achieve gender equality in the every way. Tweet G20 leaders to support women’s economic empowerment.