Farah Mohamed: Remarks to G7 leaders in Canada


Charlevoix, Quebec

JUNE 9, 2018 

Good morning. Bonjour. I am here today representing Malala. If Malala were here, she would tell you that she is representing the 130 million girls not in school.

I am not here today to appeal to your sense of altruism. I am here to appeal to your balance sheets.

I am here to remind you that, by investing in 12 years of safe, free, quality education, you have a resource at the ready that will help with many of the challenges you are discussing including: strengthening the global economy, growing the middle class, decreasing poverty, combatting climate change and keeping our countries safe.

I am here to ask you to make a practical and strategic investment in our shared future: educating girls.

Why invest in girls’ education? Because educating girls produces economically empowered women. And economically empowered women give you a fighting chance to fill the projected 40 million job vacancies expected in the global economy by 2020.

Two additional data points for your consideration:

Every additional year of secondary schooling boosts a woman’s earning potential by 25%. And women who work help build strong communities and countries.

Increasing the proportion of women completing secondary education by 1% increases economic growth by 0.3%.

No CEO in the world would ignore these rates of return.

It is a global economic imperative that all girls, everywhere, are in school — that they stay there, they learn and they step out of school and into the workforce with 21st century skills and capabilities. Simply stated, girls are the economic game-changer you need.

The time is now, this is not an investment that can be put off. And so we ask you to commit to three things.

First, a down payment of least $1.3 billion of new funding for girls’ education.

Second, set out a path to ensuring that 15% of your overseas aid budgets go to education. The current G7 average is only 8.4%.

Third, recognize that this isn’t a challenge we can solve in one Summit. There remains a $39 billion global funding gap for education.

We know that governments cannot solve this alone. The social profit sector is doing its part and will do more. Private sector companies are starting to do their part and we will ask them to do more. And we ask you to do your part.

Monsieur Le President Macron, please prioritize girls’ education in France next year. Prime Minister Abe, as you chair the G20 in 2019, please ensure that girls’ education is high up on your agenda.

It is time to recognize that educated girls are an investment in a safer, healthier, wealthier world.

On behalf of Malala and the 130 million girls who are out of school, thank you.