Action Education will launch Education for Women Now – the first global philanthropic campaign of the NGO to increase access to quality education for marginalised girls and women in Africa, Asia and Europe – in January 2021.

On 17 January 2021, Action Education will host a live digital event, led by leading figures in corporate world, media and women’s rights to kick off Education for Women Now, a new international campaign seeking to raise 20 million euro to support the access to quality education of 3 million girls and women, globally, by 2025.

2020 should have been a year of celebration for girls, marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, considered, to date, to be the most progressive roadmap for gender equality, demanding every girl and every woman should be able to exercise and know their rights. Instead, 2020 has been the year that threatened gains made for equality, particularly in terms of access to education.

This year’s global pandemic has not just been a health emergency but also the greatest education emergency of our time which is exacerbating pre-existing gender inequalities. Before the crisis, 132 million girls were excluded from school. According to UNESCO, now, the crisis threatens to exclude a further 11 million, depriving them of their right to education. Other reports estimate this number could in fact be as high as 20 million girls globally, citing that “in a crisis like COVID-19, girls and young women are the first to be removed from school and the last to return”. 

When a girl is denied the chance to go to school, the consequences can be devastating. Women alone represent 63% of the world’s 750 million illiterate adults. Speaking on this issue, Education For Women Now Campaign Director Vanessa Perrette attested that investing in education is the first step in reducing inequalities. “The struggle of gender inequalities begins at the very doorstep of school and education. If women played a role equivalent to that of them on the labour market, the studies show us that the global GDP would increase by 26%, or more than 28 000 billion dollars”, she said.

If we act now, Action Education believes that if the current educational crisis can be averted or at least diminished, we can prioritize education for girls and women as we plan recovery responses and pledge commitment to ensuring nobody gets behind. 

Action Education is calling on philanthropists, foundations, corporate changemakers and individuals passionate about ensuring access to education to join our global movement and help us to remove gender inequality barriers. 

Across these ten programs, we will put women and girls front and center. Through our 40 years of experience, we have learned that empowering girls and women is a crucial lever to accelerate sustainable change. We understand that education is the best way to transform lives, ensure peace, and social and economic stability in marginalized communities. 

Join us on 17 January 2021 as we launch Education for Women Now and discuss the obstacles women and girls are facing and what we can do, collectively, to remove them. Let this crisis be an opportunity for change.

Christine Redmond

Copyright: Action Education