Stand with girls
who demand their right
to go to school
More than 130 million girls around the world are denied an education.
Denied their right to choose their own futures.
I will stand with girls demanding their right to an education.
All around the globe, more than 130 million girls are denied the opportunity to reach their potential and to have choices about their futures. And this number is likely to increase due to the effects of global lockdowns.
It is estimated that up to 20 million secondary school-aged girls were pushed out of school as a result of the pandemic.
We cannot afford to wait on getting girls back to school
we must act now.
Girls are significantly less likely to return to school if they’ve been forced to leave.
Plus, they already face unique barriers to education – all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, such as:
- Conflict and gender-based violence which girls experience at home, at school and travelling to and from school
- Child, early or forced marriages and unions
- Early pregnancy
- Poverty and financial hardship can lead to girls dropping out of school to work and financially support their families
- The cost of school can lead to girls’ education not being prioritised by their caregivers
- Lack of safe toilets, menstrual products and clean water at school to help manage menstrual hygiene
- The stigma surrounding menstruation
- Gender norms and expectations, which sees girls more likely to be kept home to tend to domestic duties and care for family members.
But education is extraordinary.
It is the key that unlocks doors. Unleashes potential. Unlocks dreams.
When girls have the chance to be educated, those barriers to equality are much easier to break – both for themselves and for future generations.
Here are just some of the impacts we could create if all girls, everywhere, had access to education:
- Educating girls is one of the most effective – and most overlooked – ways to mitigate climate change. For every year a girl stays in school, her country’s climate resilience measurably improves. An education ensures girls can pursue careers in conservation, science and economics, and know what to do in extreme weather events and disasters.
- If all girls received 12 years of education, the frequency of early births would drop by 59% and child deaths would decrease by 49%.
- 12 years of education for every girl would reduce child marriage worldwide by 64%.
Will you support every girl’s right to an education?
Stand with incredible girls like Nuer and Monica
“I was due to take my final secondary school exams before the pandemic hit. It became clear that we were not going to return to school any time soon when the government ordered the schools to close and told people to stay home.”I stay away from community gatherings as it is where many girls are lured into relationships that lead to early pregnancies and marriages.
With girls not able to return to school in South Sudan, many face a greater risk of gender-based violence early marriages and teenage pregnancies – all of which can create a growing shadow crisis amidst the pandemic.
“I was depressed for two months following the closure of schools. I did not know what my future would look like … My peers were getting married or falling pregnant and not a month would pass without me hearing this. I stayed strong and resisted all temptations by listening to my aunt and keeping busy with housework and joining my aunt in farming.Today, I am back in school. I feel so happy and as if I have pushed a great burden off my back, although I still have three more months before I can take my final exams.
How Plan International is responding
Together with our youth champions and partners, we advocate for girls’ and young women’s education at a grassroots level and support girls to be leaders in their own communities.
We support families with food, scholarships and learning resources to help make sure all children can attend school. We work with parents and communities to raise awareness about the importance of girls’ education.
To ensure girls aren’t left behind and have the opportunity to continue their education, Plan International has a five-tier approach to help break down the barriers they face.
- Protect girls from violence by ramping up our programs that focus on preventing gender-based violence.
- Get girls back to school with campaigns that show parents and caregivers the lasting impacts and effects that education can have.
- Continuing and expanding our SRHR education using remote and digital approaches so girls and young women are empowered to know their rights and access critical services.
- Strengthen girls’ economic security and social protection.
- Support girls’ agency and voice through youth-led research and projects.
Will you add your name and stand with girls who are fighting for their right to go to school?