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Plan highlights barriers for girls seeking education at CSW

Donnady at the panel with CBS News Anchor Katie Couric.Photo credit: Kevin Tachman for The Daily Beast
Donnady at the panel with CBS News Anchor Katie Couric.

Photo credit: Kevin Tachman for The Daily Beast
March 16, 2010

Youth activist participates at the "Women in the World" summit, hosted by the UN Foundation and the Daily Beast.


As part of a gathering of remarkable women from across the globe, a youth activist with Plan shared her experience seeking an education in the Philippines. On a panel with Queen Rania of Jordan, and CBS News Anchor Katie Couric, Plan activist Donnady highlighted the barriers to education that ultimately prevent women from seeking an education, career and independence. The event was part of this year's session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Donnady discussed the situation at her high school in the Philippines, a single secondary school in her village’s area for over 700 students, and the tremendous financial difficulty many families face. From needed school supplies, to the cost of transportation to and from the single school, to the cost of losing the assistance a child provides with farming and other household needs.

Gender stereotyping also plays a significant role in impeding access to opportunity for young girls in the Philippines. Said Donnady, “Because our culture traditionally suggests that women shouldn’t have high academic ambition, many of us are afraid of how society will react if we decide to go after scholarships or post-secondary education.”

Following the discussion, which also included commentary from Kakenya Ntaiya, founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence; Kathy Bushkin Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation; and Helen Amdemikael, Assistant Representative for the UN Foundation Population Fund, Ethiopia, Donnady and other girls in the audience publically released their Girlafesto to remind leaders in the global movement to advance the status of women and girls that they need to continue to support advancing access to opportunities for all girls.

Learn more about Plan's participation at the CSW.