Taking Action for Women this International Women’s Day

Events , Global Goals

At Girl Up, we know that girls are the most powerful force for change. And as we celebrate the first International Women’s Day since the Sustainable Development Goals were passed earlier this year, girls are at the forefront of transforming our world.  By incorporating girls throughout the Global Goals, the world recognizes that investing in girls is the wisest investment in the future.

As we know, empowerment is a cycle that propels global change; empowered girls become empowered women, and empowered women raise empowered girls. Girls are at the center of the Global Goals because they are the engine that will drive these goals forward, creating a better world for all humanity.

But today as we celebrate the rights and achievements women around the world, there are still far too many girls who remain untapped sources of knowledge, innovation, and economic growth, leaving their communities stagnant in poverty.

One of the goals, in particular, is a major focus for Girl Up this year: Goal 4 – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Today, in 2016, an astounding 62 million girls are out of school. They have the drive, the passion, and the dreams to reach higher. You’ve read the stories of girls like Khadijah, Namda, and Tania whose lives were transformed by simply going to school. It’s hard to imagine a world where completing your education is a rarity, or even a luxury. Education – primary AND secondary – isn’t and should never be a privilege; it’s a basic human right.

The research is clear: girls who are educated are healthier, marry later, and have children when they’re ready. They understand their rights, gain the confidence to lead, and become more civicly engaged. They earn more and invest more directly into their communities, helping to break the cycle of poverty locally and globally. According to the World Bank, each additional year of schooling increases a girl’s potential future earnings by 10-20 percent. With all of the far-reaching benefits of educating girls, it’s a wonder how it’s still a question.

So I hope that today, as we honor the incredible women of the world, let’s also make sure we continue to focus on and take action on behalf of the women of the future – the girls who will make the Global Goals a reality.