Carron Mann is the Global Advocacy and Campaigns Adviser at Malala Fund. She leads on the development and implementation of global policy change campaigns for 12 years of free, safe and quality education for every girl.
At the Generation Equality Forum today — a global platform to accelerate progress on gender equality and promote accountability — Malala Fund committed to driving progress for girls’ education in the following ways:
- Malala Fund pledges to award $20 million in new feminist funding to girls’ education activists by 2025, increasing our investment in girl-led organisations and activism that address the root causes of gender inequality. Educators and activists around the world are breaking down the barriers to girls’ education in their communities every day. Malala Fund believes that to achieve lasting change for girls, we need to invest in these local leaders and their efforts.
- Malala Fund commits to working with girls in all their diversity to co-create and launch an agenda for quality, gender-equal education within the next year. Too many girls find that their education fails to equip them with the knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to thrive. Education needs to work for all girls on their terms.
The three-day forum provides the international community — including governments, private sector companies, civil society, development organisations and philanthropic foundations — the opportunity to come together to launch a five-year Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality. Malala Fund knows that gender equality starts with educating girls and is working to ensure that other leaders at the Generation Equality Forum take ambitious action for girls’ education.
Secondary education for girls can transform communities, countries and our world. Decades of research show that educating girls increases economic growth, improves public health, boosts workforce participation, reduces conflict and improves environmental sustainability. If every girl received a quality, secondary education, the global economy would grow by $30 trillion.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global education crisis, exacerbating the inequalities girls already faced. Nearly 130 million girls were out of school before the pandemic — and now research estimates 20 million more girls are at risk of dropping out because of it. Climate-related events will force four million girls out of school this year.
It is critical that the Generation Equality Forum take ambitious and coordinated action for girls’ education. In a video message to leaders, Malala Fund co-founder Malala Yousafzai said: “World leaders have the power to make progress for girls on a global scale. At Generation Equality, I want to see leaders commit to investing more in girls’ education. With 130 million girls out of school, we need action, not words.”
Malala Fund’s pledges recognise that to achieve gender equality we need to see every girl in school and learning. The Generation Equality Forum website will display our commitments and we will provide annual updates on the progress we’ve made.