A month ago today a momentous commitment was made by G7 partners to support a declaration to educate and empower girls living in crises along with a 2.9 billion US dollar investment over three years. This is life changing for girls living in conflict and emergency situations globally.
This commitment resulted from INGOs, advocates, and youth uniting and working tirelessly through lobbying, petitioning and spreading the word. It truly shows the power of grassroots activism.
But the fight has only just begun. Now we must ensure that this money is put towards quality and sustainable education for girls in crises. We must hold governments accountable for their commitments and girls living in crises must be part of the process.
In the lead up to the G7, I highlighted three powerful advocates who have lived in crises and are now using their voices to ensure other girls growing up in crisis situations receive the same opportunities that education has given them. Naturally, I had to ask them their thoughts and hopes for the declaration and the financial commitment made to these girls. This is what they had to say:
Zaynab, Malala Fund girl advocate
“I was so happy that we have great leaders who are protecting girls’ education during crises. This investment is the most important one because by protecting girls’ education in crisis countries, we are protecting future leaders, doctors, teachers and the future generation. As someone who had to stay out from school for two years, I am so happy that other girls won’t go through this. I can’t wait to see it in action.
I hope that leaders will continue to invest in girls until every girl living in crisis can complete 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
Girls living in the middle of crises are the first to be forced out of school. We want to make sure that these girls’ voices are heard and supported.”
Fatu, Girls’ Education Advocate, Plan International Sierra Leone
Muzoon, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
“I am so proud to hear of these commitments and I am hopeful for the millions of girls around the world. They will be able to influence their communities. Acknowledging the importance of education for girls, this means that we are on our way to gender equality in education.
For me, and other girls, it’s like life is changing.
Once we have education, we can achieve our goals and this can give us a stronger voice and an independent life. We can have an important influence in our communities and play an essential role as equally as men. We can see more girls in school rather than getting married at such a young age. And more developed countries through more educated girls. It is important for world leaders to make these commitments, deliver on their promises and give as much as they can. They need to cooperate with other countries and not only G7 countries so we can make a huge difference in the world.”
Join Zaynab, Fatu and Muzoon in ensuring that the support pledged by G7 partners is invested wisely so that all girls living in crisis situations will be able to fulfil their right to a safe, quality education.