This week, #GIRLWITHABOOK is all about preparing for Malala’s 16th birthday and speech at the UN on Friday!
Each day this week we are focusing on a different theme related to supporting girls around the world in their quest for an education. Monday was “All About Education” and today we are featuring “Favorite Heroines, Real and Fictional!”
This week is part of a massive international effort to bring education smack dab in the center of international agenda setters and policy makers. 57 million primary school children out of school is 57 million too many. Goal number two of the millennium development goals (MDGs), universal primary education could very well be the silver bullet that heralds in the other goals. Want to reduce maternal and child mortality? Educate girls about child marriage and their rights (and educate boys about consent and respect). Want to slash HIV infection rates? Educate children about sexual health, contraception, and healthy behavior. Think eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is important? Primary education, simply the ability to read and write, boosts economic returns to unimaginable heights. Promoting gender equality and empowering women? Yeah, you need educated girls and boys for that too. Think folks should have sustainable access to clean water sources? Educate children from an early age on sanitation, hand washing, and identifying safe and unsafe water. Education permeates every corner of the MDGs.
Sadly, many MDGs are falling short of their goals, some troublingly so. But with this international push, maybe we can completely achieve one of the goals. Maybe we can get every primary school child in a classroom, with a teacher, by the end of 2015.
Thanks to Malala’s perseverance, determination, and leadership, international attention is re-focusing on getting 57 million out-of-school children into primary classrooms by 2015. It’s a lofty goal, maybe even improbable or naive, but Malala has shown us that the improbable is possible, and that to keep fighting is the only way forward.
Stay with #GIRLWITHABOOK the rest of this week for our Birthday Bash, tweet at us using the hashtag #birthdaybash4malala, and don’t forget to send in photos of YOU wishing Malala a happy birthday, and pledging to stand with her as she speaks at the UN on her very special 16th birthday.
Photos may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or messaged to us through facebook.