On the 11th of December education campaigners and parliamentarians gathered for an event at the Houses of Parliament to hear inspiring stories of progress towards securing the right to education for girls around the world.
Hosted by Fiona O’Donnell MP and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All, the event celebrated improvements in girls’ access to education, and the UK Government’s commitment to girls’ education through such initiatives as its Girls’ Education Challenge fund which supports education for marginalised girls. The event was also a time to reflect on the 31 million girls still missing out on education, and the continued need for action to ensure that every girl can go to school.
Drawing on her experiences as a Young Campaigner for the Send My Friend to School campaign, Emma Woods described the work she has been doing to ensure that young people can meet with local politicians and make their views heard, including running a conference with 10 primary schools. David Crone, a member of Plan UK’s Youth Advisory panel, spoke of the importance of investing in girls’ education, and House of Lords Spokesperson for the Department for International Development, Lord Bates, voiced his strong support for the goal of ‘every girl in school and learning’.
Gillian Joseph, Sky News presenter and her daughter Tiwa spoke of their experiences of visiting Plan projects in South Sudan, and the daily challenges facing girls in remote, conflict-affected areas. They highlighted the positive impact of education for unlocking girls’ potential, and for transforming their communities.
With 2015 around the corner and the world turning its attention to the next international development framework, this is a key moment to take stock of progress in girls’ education, while recognising that there is much left to be done. In this spirit, Fiona O’Donnell MP spoke passionately about the power of young people’s campaigning for ensuring that every girl receives an education.
Photo: © Mark Chilvers/ActionAid