“Education is a Right, Not a Privilege” for Millions of Girls and Women

Last week, the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education’s) Head of Youth Engagement and Skills, Jamira Burley, co-hosted Theirworld’s annual International Women’s Day (IWD) event in London with Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of GBC-Education and Chair of Theirworld. Below, you can find the special live broadcast of the IWD event, along with an interview of Jamira speaking with Amrit Kaur Lohia, a Global Youth Ambassador at Theirworld.

Here are the three takeaways from the IWD event, which focused on the importance of a stable learning environment to ensure educational opportunity for women and girls:

  1. Girls and women in conflict areas face numerous barriers to education: During a conflict, girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys. Girls face the threat of sexual violence, gender discrimination, and child marriages that prevent them from accessing school and receiving a quality education. Safe schools and learning environments provide girls and young women with the opportunity to build a livelihood and pursue their academic potential that would otherwise be stunted by barriers simply due to their gender.
  2. The business community has an important role to play in ensuring learning opportunity for the most vulnerable: Theirworld’s report on safe schools highlights how governments, foundations, business, and civil society can protect the rights of children in conflict – especially girls. One of the ways for the business community to deliver quality education to young people in crisis situations is through GBC-Education’s Rapid Education Action (REACT) Initiative; REACT connects companies with on-the-ground implementation partners working in education in emergencies.
  3. Investing in girls – especially those caught in conflict – builds stronger and more resilient societies: studies have shown that for every year of additional schooling that a girl receives, she sees a 11.7% increase in wages later in life. For societies impacted by crisis and disaster, having an educated and skilled workforce is essential for rebuilding and strengthening critical institutions, in addition to driving a growth-focused and healthy economy.

During the event, Jamira emphasized that, “too many girls are out of school. Too many girls are victims of violence, female genital mutilation, or child marriage. Today we say: education is a right, no a privilege.” As the world faces one of the worst displaced persons crisis since the end of World War II, it’s essential that every sector – including the private sector – invests in the future of girls.

To learn more about GBC-Education’s work in education in emergencies, follow the link here. GBC-Education is an initiative of Theirworld.

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