Education is the quickest path to girls’ equality.

Education is one of the surest ways for children to overcome inequality, gain financial dependence and realise their rights. Yet around the world, there are more than 130 million girls currently not in school. This is unacceptable.

We believe all children and young people deserve the same opportunities in life, and the education of girls is essential in creating a brighter future for all. By making sure all children, regardless of gender, can finish their education, we’re helping unlock the potential of a whole new generation.

We work to make sure that all children can get an education

An educated girl can change the future – for themselves, their families, their communities and the planet. Imagine what the world could look like if all girls were able to unleash their talent?

Every child has the right to go to primary and secondary school. But girls face a number of unique barriers in accessing schooling – a lack of resources, poverty, and the cultural and gender norms that favour boys and keep girls in the home doing domestic duties. But every girl, no matter where they are born, deserves the opportunity to learn, grow, and be the best she can be.

We believe in gender equality in education. That’s why, together with our youth champions and partners, we advocate for girls’ and young women’s education at a grassroots level and supports 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. And we address issues such as violence, child marriage and early pregnancy that can prevent girls from finishing their education.

The benefits of an education last beyond her lifetime

When girls are educated, the barriers to equality are much easier to break – both for themselves and future generations.

For every additional year of school that a girl completes, infant mortality rates are reduced by 5 to 10%. And 12 years of education for every girl would reduce child marriage worldwide by 64 percent.

A girl who can stay in school is more likely to grow into a woman who marries later, has a smaller and healthier family, earn better income and pursue the life she wants. Plus, she’ll go on to educate her family and her community – and she’ll break the cycle of poverty.

Keeping children in school in Laos

Many Ethnic families living in northern Laos cultivate their own rice as a source of food and income – a practise that relies on rain. But as climate change reduces the amount of rainfall, these families are struggling to source enough food to make a living and provide for their children.

This means that many parents are now unable to continue paying their children’s school fees. To stop food shortages from ending a child’s education, Plan International provides 250 scholarships a year to vulnerable families.

Taem, 11, is a recent scholarship recipient, and is excited to continue pursuing her dreams, despite her family’s situation.

I want to be a teacher in the future.
  • Taem, 11, Laos.

The girl tackling school fees in the Solomon Islands

“I think I am privileged and happy to be educated and I do enjoy my study because one of my aims is to be well educated and get a good paid job.” Katrina, 17.

One of six children, Katrina considers herself fortunate because she has had the opportunity to attend school. In the Solomon Islands, many girls aren’t so lucky – 93% do not graduate high school.

“I have a friend, we went to school together since primary up to year 10 but she is currently not attending school now due to peer pressure and other family issues.” She shares.

“I think, one of the issues that prevents girls like me from attending school in the Solomon Islands is school fees. Likewise for boys as well. However, majority are always the girls.”

“Families that cannot afford to send all their kids to school and they often prioritise boys to go to school whilst the girls are left at home to do house chores and rearing children.”

Katrina wants other girls to have the same opportunities she has and she is determined to remove the barriers preventing them from finishing school. She is a Plan International Solomon Islands Youth Champion and together with five other girls, is campaigning for fee-free education.

I feel sorry for the girls who did not have the chance to go to school. I think, if they were given the chance to attend school they would become someone better in the future as well.
  • Katrina, 17, Youth Champion.

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