Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is now United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, has backed Plan's campaign for girls' education. Following campaigning by thousands of Plan supporters there have been a series of political commitments and actions announced.
A global campaign was launched after 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban. Plan joined the campaign in support of Malala's stand for girls' education. And our 'Raise your hand' campaign calls for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to lead action by world leaders to make girls' education a priority. The Malala campaign achieved over two million signatures, doubling the original target. Over 560,000 people have supported our Raise your hand campaign so far.
Keeping up momentum
Amidst this mounting pressure, for the first time the Pakistan government voted for compulsory free education. Three million girls and boys will now receive cash transfers to help them go to school. The Pakistan government has also announced a £6 million ‘Malala Fund’ to educate underprivileged girls. Gordon Brown has announced that there will be a global summit in April 2013 focusing on girls' education. He also announced a day of action on Malala's birthday on 12th July next year.
These are all positive and encouraging moves and we want to keep up the momentum to make sure world leaders take further action to ensure girls everywhere can complete a quality education and achieve their potential. So, if you haven't done it already, please Raise your hand in support of girls' education.
Gordon Brown has also supported a worldwide education action plan being drawn up by the United Nations Youth Advsory group at a meeting hosted by Plan UK. The action plan is part of 'Education First', the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's global initiative on education. 17 year old David Crone, who is a member of Plan UK's Youth Advisory Panel, is part of YAG . “Young people are leading the global rights revolution. The Youth Advisory Group for Education First speaks for young people across the globe”, says Mr Brown. “They share a common purpose with Malala and others standing up for the fundamental right for all children and youth to realise their potential through a quality education."
Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign backs Mr Brown’s work to end gender discrimination in school around the world. “At least one in five adolescent girls is out of school,” explains Plan UK campaign manager, Naomi Williams. “Plan UK is supporting the Pakistan government and the international community in their efforts to help girls get a quality education.
“We are calling for further political commitment to break down the barriers so many girls face in completing their education and fulfilling their potential – such as child marriage, violence, gender discrimination and poverty.”
Find out more about our Because I am a Girl campaign and Raise your hand.