Young women around the world made 2018 a defining year for girls’ education. They broke barriers, spoke out for their rights and paved the path for the next generation of girls. Malala Fund is proud to support these young women and local education activists who make waves for girls every day. Here are some girl-powered moments and highlights of our work and achievements from 2018:
In March, Malala and her family made an emotional return to their home in Pakistan for the first time in five and a half years. They reunited with family and friends and saw firsthand the impact of Malala Fund’s investment in the region. “This trip was the most exciting, memorable, beautiful and haunting time for me and family...I didn’t leave my country by choice, but I did return by choice,” Malala wrote.
Malala Fund welcomed a second cohort of Gulmakai Network Champions — 14 activists from six different countries to bolster girls’ secondary education around the world.
In April, 15-year-old Peace Ayo from Nigeria took her fight for girls’ education to London where she joined Malala Fund at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. In her remarks, Peace described the barriers to education that girls face in her community and asked leaders to invest in 12 years of free, safe and quality education for them.
In the first week in June, 16-year-old twin activists Maryam and Nivaal Rehman joined Malala Fund at the G7 Finance and Development Ministers Meetingsin Canada to ask attending leaders Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Bill Morneau, Canada’s Finance Minister, and Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank about their plans to make girls’ education a global priority.
Later that month, Malala Fund CEO Farah Mohamed attended the G7 leaders’ summit to speak directly with heads of state about the need to prioritise girls in the global agenda and invest more in girls’ education. As a result, G7 leaders committed $3 billion for girls’ education — a significant step forward for girls all over the world!
Inspired by Malala’s own secret blog when she was 11, Malala Fund launched Assembly, a by girls, for girls digital publication and newsletter in July to give young women a platform to share their stories through original essays, videos, photographs and artwork focusing on the issues they care about. Here are some stories we’ve featured so far:
- Rajni has stopped five child marriages — including her own. Rajni worked with 19-year-old Indian illustrator Priyanka Paul to tell her story through a graphic novel for Assembly.
- 18-year-old Suhaila, from Northern Nigeria, wrote about overcoming early marriage and gender discrimination.
- Editorial intern Omolara Uthman interviewed six young female photographers about their work and advice for breaking into the field.
- 11-year-old Angelina wrote about her learning disability and how she overcame her fear of going to school.
Malala meets with with ballerinas in Brazil
In Brazil, more than 1.5 million girls are out of school due to poverty, racism and violence. And, Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian girls miss out most. In July, Malala spent her 21st in Brazil to mark the Gulmakai Network’s expansion to the region. Learn more about the Gulmakai Champions we support in Brazil here.
Malala Fund launched its latest campaign about the link between girls’ education and economic development in October. With a foreword by Apple CEO Tim Cook, our report, Full Force: Why the world works better when girls go to school, found that nearly one billion girls and young women are unequipped with the digital skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce. But if all these girls went to school for at least 12 years and secured work, the global economy could grow by up to $30 trillion.
Help Malala Fund accomplish even more game-changing girl moments next year as we continue to fight for every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education. With your support, girls can achieve their dreams and change the world. For a limited time, the Starbucks Foundation is matching gifts so you can help twice as many girls reach their full potential.