Add your name so girls everywhere can complete their education
Education is extraordinary. It is the key that unlocks doors. Unleashes potential. Unlocks dreams.
And when a girl is educated, she is given choices for her future and opportunities that can change her life. But the pandemic has threatened to undo the years of progress and hard-won gains we've made for development, gender equality and girls' access to twelve years of inclusive and quality education. We can no longer afford to wait on getting adolescent girls back to school.
For our recent report, Smart, Successful, Strong: The Case for Investing in Adolescent Girls' Education in Aid and COVID-19 Response and Recovery, we spoke to girls in Kiribati, Indonesia and Vietnam. They told us that they want gender equality in education, and they want schools to be able to 'build back equal'.
The incredible news is that girls are already leading this change. In their homes, their classrooms, their communities and their countries, girls are taking on power structures, demanding an education, challenging harmful practices and proving that they can do anything.
If governments support them, if they invest in dismantling the barriers to secondary education that have been magnified and exacerbated by COVID-19, then we can positively transform the lives of girls. We can power the economic growth and social cohesion that is needed for COVID-19 recovery in our region. Will you ask the Australian Government to support girls' education?
Sign onto this open letter asking our government to take action so girls everywhere can complete their education.
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Dear Foreign Minister Marise Payne,
Plan International's report, Smart, Successful, Strong: The Case for Investing in Adolescent Girls' Education in Aid and COVID-19 Response and Recovery, highlights the ways that the right to complete secondary education is shifting further out of reach for millions of adolescent girls in South East Asia and the Pacific. COVID-19 has disrupted education systems and pushed more families and communities into poverty and hardship.
Adolescent girls are some of the most marginalised, and without secondary education, are on a trajectory of future poverty and hardship. Australia's focus on social cohesion and economic recovery will be strengthened through recovery efforts that address girls' education – particularly secondary education in South East Asia and the Pacific.
I ask that you support girls' vision for gender equality in education by:1. Renewing Australia's commitment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) by committing to a replenishment of $70m per year for the next five years.
With a growing number of Pacific countries partnering with the GPE, Australia's support is critical to our region.2. Increasing the percentage of Australian Aid that supports education
and shifting the focus from scholarships, which fail to reach the majority of adolescent girls (particularly the most vulnerable) to secondary education and strengthening gender equality in education systems.3. Embedding a strong focus on adolescent girls in the redesign of Pacific Women Lead
, by having both a stand-alone adolescent focused program as well as mainstreaming the unique needs of adolescent girls into all programs.