If we don’t change the status quo, we may not achieve gender equality for another 300 years, according to the UN.
Clearly, we have a long way to go despite having the UN’s global directive to achieve it for almost a decade. The same goes for equal access to education for all children, particularly for girls who are often left behind due to socio-economic crises, and the unshakeable burden of gender inequality.
We can do better. We should do better. The end of extreme poverty depends on it. That’s why we’re using the Global Citizen Festival, taking place in New York City on Sept. 23, to louden the call for justice and equity.
The fights for gender equality and access to education need immediate support; right now that support looks like a big step up in funding from world leaders. As part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival campaign, we are calling on leaders in Japan, France, Germany, Australia, Norway, Denmark, and the UK to help get us back on track to achieving gender equality and eradicating poverty.
We’re urging them to increase funding for Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Menstrual Health Accelerator — entities that are working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that women and girls’ rights are put first. You can join us in this call as part of the global movement ending extreme poverty, by taking action with us ahead of the festival.
Here are five actions you can take to add your voice to the movement.
1. Take a quiz to learn more about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
A huge part of the call for the protection and implementation of women and girls’ rights is the call for investment in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) — including ending period poverty, providing access to maternal health care, and assistance with family planning. When people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are denied, their livelihoods are disrupted and their well-being is threatened. As a result, poverty ensues or continues. Take our quiz to learn more about why immediate action needs to be taken for world leaders to invest in and protect SRHR.
2. Call on Norway to invest in the UNFPA.
The UNFPA works to support women and girls’ health and rights around the world. However, their funding for SRHR programs has been cut and this directly impacts those who desperately need their support — particularly women and girls in low-income communities.
Norway has the ability to change the fate of the UNFPA for the better by investing in it. Take action with us by leaving a message for leaders in Norway and telling them how their investment in the UNFPA is the smart thing to do for women and girls.
3. Email Canada for investment in the UNFPA.
Canada has the power to further support SRHR for women and girls by funding the UNFPA. Make your voice heard in this call for equity by sending an email to Canada’s Minister of International Development and urging him to boost investment for the UNFPA.
4. Sign our petition to call for a global boost in SRHR investment.
World leaders need to understand the impact that a lack of access to SRHR can have on women and girls’ livelihoods and futures, and how it can set us back on the road to ending poverty.
Many health systems around the world are currently redirecting financial resources and supplies away from SRHR, meaning health services that can support women and girls in pregnancy, assist with family planning, alleviate period poverty, and so much more, are at risk. Urgent action needs to be taken. Help us bring this issue to world leaders’ attention by signing our petition.
5. Sign our petition to help every child achieve their potential.
We’re still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and global education is facing some of the worst of it, with gains made in providing equal access to quality education prior to the pandemic all but wiped out.
Global funding for education has also seen a massive knock, and more children are out of school now than before the pandemic. Help us call on world leaders to increase investment in Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations’ global fund working to ensure that every child affected by armed conflicts and crises has access to a safe, free, and quality education by 2030.