Photo by Dominic Chavez/World Bank
Today across the globe, International Women’s Day celebrations are drawing attention to the crucial contributions of women to all areas of society. This day is also a call to recognize that we still have a long way to go to ensure that women and girls are afforded equal opportunities in education, civil society, employment, and all aspects of life.
Around the world, 130 million girls and young women are not in school and more girls than boys are expected to never be able to enter a classroom. GBC-Education member companies have demonstrated a commitment to removing barriers to girls’ education and ensuring that girls have the opportunity to develop crucial 21st century skills for future workforce participation.
Here are just a few examples:
Standard Chartered – Standard Chartered has been active in girls education through its GOAL programme. The GOAL programme uses sports and life skills education to transform the lives of adolescent girls in low-income countries; the programme reached more than 70,000 girls in 2015, and seeks to reach 500,000 by the end of 2018.
Sumitomo – In 2016, Sumitomo Chemical teamed up with World Vision Japan and Plan Japan to support 18 education-focused projects in 11 low-income countries. These projects include the construction of schools as well as the provision of educational materials. Sumitomo Chemical recently initiated a scholarship for girls who were protected by Sumitomo’s malaria protection net, Olyset Net.
Intel – Through its Global Girls and Women Initiative, Intel has been working to empower millions of girls by closing the gender gap in education, inspiring more girls and women to become creators, and connecting girls to opportunity through technology access. Intel co-founded Girl Rising, a global campaign that raises awareness of girls education through film and storytelling.
Discovery – Discovery’s education initiative, the Discovery Learning Alliance, has helped train teachers, established girls’ clubs in partner schools, and engaged with local communities to make girls education more accepted. The Discovery Learning Alliance has partnered with the UK Department of Internal Development to improve girls’ access to quality education and life opportunities in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
Gucci – In 2013, Gucci launched Chime for Change, a global campaign to promote women’s rights and empower women and girls. The campaign has since partnered with Global Citizen, which seeks to end extreme poverty; in recent initiatives, Chime for Change and Global Citizen assisted Syrian refugee children in accessing education.
Dangote – The Dangote Foundation’s efforts to address girl’s education include projects such as building classrooms, scholarship programs, upgrading infrastructure, and making education more accessible to girls. The Dangote Foundation has also assisted girls whose education was disrupted by Boko Haram through helping to reopen schools in northern Nigeria.