On June 26, 2014, government representatives from all over the world will meet in Brussels for the Global Partnership for Education conference. At this time, representatives will pledge to support education for all through government funding. This commitment is especially important to countries in Africa where approximately 80 percent of women do not complete primary education.
The world is currently one year away from the original goal of having all children, worldwide, receive an education by 2015. At the rate things are going, females in the poorest parts of Africa may not have access to suitable, effective education until the year 2086. However, the upcoming conference in Brussels could change that statistic.
Representatives from 60 developing countries, including the African countries that recently saw the effects of Day of the Child, will be present. On June 16, exactly 10 days before the pledging conference in Brussels, thousands of African children participated in the Day of the Child. The children demonstrated their desire for increased funding for education in African countries’ national budgets.
Recognizing the importance of this conference, Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign has come out with the 10 Days to Act initiative. During the 10 days in between the Day of the Child and the conference, anyone can go online to pledge support for the cause, share the campaign’s documentary on social media sites or write to the government, urging leaders to support funding for female education.
Following the first of the 10 days, the online petition to support global education has over 28,000 signatures.
Supporters label any post on social media sites as #10daystoact to show their support for the campaign. Posts currently sporting the label include a series of “selfies” on Twitter, videos on YouTube and visuals from Plan International.
These 10 days are critical for the future of female education in Africa. Thirty million girls in Africa cannot take advantage of the essential human right to education.
Aside from empowering women academically, investing in female education helps a country as a whole. Getting these 30 million girls in schools with proper learning materials has the potential to increase African countries’ GDPs by $1 billion every year.
Generating support and awareness during the 10 days in between the Day of the Child and the Global Partnership for Education could influence years of progress in the fight for female education. As one of Plan International’s visuals clearly states, “You have 10 days to get your governments to care.”
— Emily Walthouse