Education International marks International Day of the Girl Child, 11 October, by reaffirming the importance of education in empowering girls, and by highlighting the resolution on school-related gender-based violence adopted by its latest World Congress.
The recent signing of an “historic agreement” for new global sustainable development goals (SDGS) is an “opportune moment” to think about the crucial role that education plays in empowering girls, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalised in all parts of the world, explains Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen in his message for International Day of the Girl Child.
The evidence shows that the best investment that a family, community, or indeed a country, can make is in girls’ education. Numerous studies show that an educated girl is one who is healthier throughout her life, and whose own children are also healthier and more likely to be educated as a consequence, van Leeuwen says in his message, adding that a full cycle of quality education also leads to more opportunities to find decent work and earn higher wages.
“We recognise education as a human right that has an intrinsic value, and is the very cornerstone of our work as educators and education support personnel in all regions,” the statement reads. “It is this intrinsic value that makes educating girls a matter of social justice.”
Education International recognises the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action“as the most advanced international instrument on women’s rights ever agreed”, highlighting as it does the importance of education to the empowerment of women and girls, and the advancement of their rights.
The documents also highlights that the resolution on school-related gender-based violence, adopted during the 7th EI World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, this past July, signals the organisation and its affiliates’ “unwavering commitment to continue working towards the eradication of the pernicious barriers that prevent girls, the world over, from enjoying their right to education”.