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8th March 2022

Equal Education for Girls

two girls doing school works

This International Women’s Day we look at how our current theme Live, Love, Learn connects to struggles for equal education for girls and women.

Across the world, more than 130 million girls are out of school today.

There are many reasons girls do not continue their education, and we might stereotypically think of traditions that do not value girls learning, or girls having to drop out to marry.  However, poverty and the cost of schooling is also a major factor which can mean that families who are keen to send their girls to school are not able to.  Lack of infrastructure sometimes means that there are simply not schools available for girls to attend – it can be something as simple as not having adequate toilet facilities. Natural disasters and armed conflict can often mean that education is suddenly disrupted, and what infrastructure was available is suddenly destroyed.

Malala Yousafsai is a young activist, standing up for equal education for girls and boys.  Because of her campaigning in Afghanistan, she was targetted and shot by the Taliban.  Luckily Malala survived, and after being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, completed her education here in Brum.

Now Malala is bringing people together across the world to work for full education for all girls. Her organisation has been supporting efforts to ensure that girls are supported to continue their education through the pandemic, and to take the opportunity to make sure that girls and women are fully included as we rebuild. Malala says:

“Our goal should not be a return to the way things were but instead a renewed commitment to the way the world should be, a place where every girl can learn and lead.”

Malala Yousafzai

As well as using Malala’s profile to lobby world leaders on these issues, the Malala Foundation is also supporting grassroots activists and educators, and trying to bring girls’ voices into the conversation: you can read their ‘Assembly’ newsletters online. For International Women’s Day the focus is on girls in Afghanistan, where the conflict is continuing to cause disruption, and the Taliban have blocked girls and women from accessing education:

“It is a dark time for my country. But this International Women’s Day, I write to remind myself — and you — that we must not give up on our dreams for peace in Afghanistan.”

Freshta Karim, Afghan children’s rights activist

IWD is a tool to help highlight these issues and spark conversations, but of course work for equality continues every day. Pop into Peace Hub for a chat about how we can all help support education for girls and women.

Peace Hub is promoting this because we feel it is a positive action that fits with our current theme.  It should not be inferred that the Malala Fund endorses Peace Hub in any way. Photo: stock image.

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