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The road to gender equality begins with education

Beijing +25

UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI)
  • 07 Jul 2020
  • 10 min

Together, we* call on the Generation Equality Forum convenor, UN Women, and the host countries of France and Mexico, along with the Global Leaders of the Generation Equality Action Coalitions, to ensure that quality girls’ education is part of efforts to deliver game-changing results for women and girls and a more inclusive society.

Identified as a cross cutting issue for the six Action Coalitions, girls’ education is so much more.

Girls’ education is a fundamental human right, enshrined in various instruments including the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The rights of girls not only to education, but also in and through education, are reaffirmed in the Education 2030 Framework for Action as well as in Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Girls’ education enables girls to access the full spectrum of their rights. It is also linked with economic growth, climate change mitigation and resilience, promoting peace and bolstering health and education outcomes for children. Education is a critical pathway to achieving gender equality, and has the power to transform the harmful social norms that hold girls and women back from exercising their agency and realizing their full potential.

Girls’ education is even more critical now, as the current pandemic has affected the right to education of over 90 percent of the world’s student population. At the pandemic’s peak, over 1.5 billion children, including 767 million girls, had their education interrupted. Even before COVID-19, the right to education was already uncertain for girls facing discrimination because of their disability, location, or language group/ethnicity, or other characteristics, as well as those in crisis-affected countries.

Emergencies exacerbate pre-existing inequalities. The longer schools are closed, the longer girls are exposed to heightened risks of gender-based violence, early and forced marriage and early and unintended pregnancy, exploitation (whether economic or sexual), human trafficking, among others. Many of these girls are at further risk of never returning to school when these reopen: early estimates suggest this may be as many as 10 million girls.

We call on all leaders to reinforce the importance and the powerful role of education for women’s and girls’ rights. We call for tangible, concrete, resourced and meaningful commitments, both through bilateral and multilateral funding to girls’ education, accompanied by clear commitments by States to increase the national budgets for education.

We stand with you to ensure that all girls can fulfil their right to education, and that no one is left behind.

 


 

*104 signatories organisations from all over the world

Aide et Action

AIEIMS-2D

Albanian Coalition for Education

ANPIL onlus

Asociación PROYDE

Asociación Tarpusunchis

Association d’Aide à l’Education de l’Enfant Handicapé (AAEEH)

Association of De La Salle Brothers in India

Association songtaaba des femmes unies pour le développement asfud

Association Yara LNC

Associazione Dream Team Donne in Rete

Br. Richard Galvin

Broeders van de Christelijke Scholen

Brothers of the Christian Schools — Distric of Bogota, Colombia

Brothers of the Christian Schools -District of Eastern North America

Brothers of The Christian Schools Lwanga District of English Speaking Africa

Building Tomorrow

Cameroon Education For All Network (CEFAN)

Campaña Mundial por la Educación España

Campaña Argentina por el Derecho a la Educación

Centre de Formation et d’Action pour le Développement CFAD

Child Rights Centre Albania

Children Believe

Christian Brothers

Coalition Éducation

CONAMEPT-coalition nationale MADAGASCAR POUR EPT

De La Salle Brothers

De La Salle Brothers — District of Colombo

De La Salle Brothers Australia

De La Salle Christian Brothers

De La Salle Christian Brothers, District of San Francisco New Orleans

DEFI

Derandein Fundazioa

District of Ireland, GB and Malta

Education Cannot Wait

ENIEG DE FOUMBAN

Europe and North America Campaign for Education

Fondazione De La Salle Solidarietà Internazionale

Forum for African Women Educationalists

Fundação La Salle Brasil

Fundación Ayuda en Acción

FUNDACIÓN BOLIVIA DIGNA

Fundación Cultura de Paz

Fundacion InteRed

Fundación La Salle — Argentina

Fundación La Salle Paraguay

GALE, The Global Alliance for LGBT Education

Girls Opportunity Alliance

Global Campaign for Education

Global Campaign for Education Netherlands

Global Campaign for Education US

Global Citizen

Global Partnership for Education

Globale Bildungskampagne

Human Dignity

Humanity & Inclusion

Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Irish National Teachers Organisation

La Salle

La Salle International Foundation

La Salle RELEM (Europe and Meditteranean)

Lasallian District of Ireland, Great Britain and Malta

Lasallian East Asia District

Lasallian Education in North America

Lasallian Mission Council ANZPPNG

Lasallian Projects

Lasallian Women of Hope

Lassalian Educators Mozambique Association (AMEL)

Light for the World

Little Sisters of the Assumption

Malala Fund

Miroir Vagabond (Belgique)

Misean Cara

Mission Council Sector of Ireland

NGO CONSTRUISONS ENSEMBLE LE MONDE

Not 4 Trade

OCCHI APERTI società cooperativa sociale onlus

ONG HAMAP-Humanitaire

Pakistan Coalition for Education an initiative of Society for Access to Quality Education

Partage

Plan International

Plan International France

Planète Enfants & Développement

Planète Urgence

PROYECTO SOLIDARIO

Región Latinoamericana Lasallista -RELALSaint

Mary’s College of California

Salesian Sisters

Save The Children International

SCEFA

Secours Islamique France

Send My Friend to School

Solidarité Laïque

Solidarité Laïque Afrique de l’Ouest

SOPRO — Solidariedade e Promoção

St lasalle school karemeno

SUORE DOMENICANE DI S. CATERINA DA SIENA — PROVINCIA BEATA VERGINE DEL ROSARIO

Syndicat National de l’Enseignement Primaire Public de Côte d’Ivoire (SNEPPCI)

SYNDICAT NATIONAL DES AGENTS DE LA FORMATION ET DE L’EDUCATION DU NIGER ( SYNAFEN)

TEACH Côte d’Ivoire

UNESCO

UNICEF France

UNICEF USA

United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative

World University Service (WUS), Germany