A Sunderland school boy presented the Plan “I am Malala” petition to the Pakistan High Commission in London, as part of a global day of action.
Malala Yousafzai, 15, is recovering in a Birmingham hospital after being shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education in the Swat valley.
UN and Plan UK youth rep, David Crone, handed in the document calling for every child’s right to go to school, a drive led by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.
On the same day, Mr Brown was in Pakistan to present the petition to the Pakistan President Zardari – and other UN youth reps are handing it in worldwide.
“This is a really important cause – all young people are entitled to the same level of education and no young person should be excluded because of threats or their gender,” explains David, 17.
“If girls are to receive a good level of education they also need the solidarity of men and boys around the world to achieve it. The fact that Malala is being treated in the UK has really brought this issue home to me -– we want international leaders to commit to furthering the cause of girls’ education.”
New UN figures show Pakistan has the second largest number of girls out of school in the world.
Plan is backing the work by Gordon Brown to end gender discrimination in school in Pakistan and internationally.
“66 million girls globally are denied the chance to complete secondary school,“ says Plan UK campaign manager, Naomi Williams. "Plan’s global ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign is calling for further political action to break down the barriers to schooling so many girls face – such as violence, gender discrimination and poverty."
Plan is supporting the Government of Pakistan to commit to undertaking a gender review of their Education Sector Plans and implement work to ensure all girls successfully complete at least nine years of quality education.
Find out more about Malala and the petition, and raise your hand to call on the UN to make girls' education a priority.
Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire