Plan addresses UN on girls' education
Millions of girls are condemned to a life of poverty, hunger and violence because they are denied the education opportunities offered to their brothers, Plan warned the United Nations.
In a statement delivered to the 52nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Plan called for urgent investment in girls’ schooling and for greater participation by girls and young women in decisions that affect their lives.
Double discriminationSarah Hendriks, Plan Canada program manager, told the UN that more than 62,000,000 girls worldwide do not attend primary school. She said:
“Girls are getting a raw deal. They face the double discrimination of their sex and their age and in many societies remain at the bottom of the social and economic ladder. Girls are less likely than their brothers to go to school and more likely to be malnourished or experience violence.
“All children, including girls, have the right to participate. The voices of girls and young women need to be heard in policy and decision-making forums.”
Plan’s 'Because I’m a Girl: the State of the World’s Girls' report showed girls education brings benefits for the whole of society, she said.
Saving livesNot only does girls’ schooling boost the economy by increasing the number of skilled employees but data shows a striking correlation between mothers’ education levels and the number of children who die before their fifth birthday.
Investment to provide opportunity for girls must be matched by an effort to collect data to show the true scale of the disadvantage faced by girls and young women across the globe.
Earlier, Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, used his speech to the Commission to launch a global campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Violence against girls at school is a major reason why millions fail to gain a proper education. Plan will launch its own Learn Without Fear campaign to end violence in schools later this year.
Read Plan’s Because I am a Girl: the state of the world's girls 2007 report.
Learn more about Plan's Learn Without Fear campaign.