Malala petition - Thank you!
Thanks to support from around the world, the Malala petition calling for urgent action to support girls’ education received over 2 million signatures: 1.1 million from the international community and 1.1 million from Pakistan.
Malala Yousafzai, 15, is recovering in a UK hospital after being shot in the head for defending every girl’s right to an education in Pakistan’s Swat valley.
Malala day of global action
On 10 November, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, presented the petition to Pakistan’s President Zardari.
Gordon Brown said: “Today the President of Pakistan has agreed to work with the United Nations to ensure urgent delivery of education for all and to get Pakistan’s 5 million out-of-school children into education for the first time.”
On the same day, UN and Plan UK youth representative, David Crone, handed in the petition to the Pakistan High Commission in London, as part of a global day of action, along with other UN youth representatives 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 has been supporting the ‘I am Malala petition worldwide’ and is backing the work by Gordon Brown to end gender discrimination in school in Pakistan and internationally.
Amidst this mounting pressure, for the first time the Pakistan government recently 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.
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 9 years of quality education.
Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign will support 4 million girls to get the education, skills and support they need to move themselves from poverty to opportunity.
Read more on the handover of the petition in Pakistan, via the Huffington Post *
Join Plan’s global call for girls’ education: Raise Your Hand
Malala photo credit: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images