In this important year for the development agenda, the significance of the 2015 World Education Forum (WEF) extends well beyond the education community itself.
Today in Korea, representatives of education ministries from more than 120 countries will agree a future education agenda that will form a central part of the sustainable development framework for the next 15 years.
Plan International’s Because I am a Girl campaign has always worked for the rights of girls at the intersection of gender equality, protection and education, and that’s why we are at WEF this week: to advocate for the issues that will help to eliminate gender inequality in schools and advance quality education for all children.
Our main activities at WEF have focused on ending violence against, and amplifying the voices of, girls in education.
It is for these reasons that the World Education Forum is a fitting place for us to launch #Girl4President, the Because I am a Girl campaign’s 2015 call to action.
#Girl4President uses the language and aesthetic of political campaigning to insist on the visibility, the voice and the vote of girls in places of influence and power around the world.
That could be at meetings like WEF (read more about the girl advocates Plan has been supporting at the Forum), but it also speaks to other spaces where power dynamics work against girls. These spheres of influence can be at the level of family, school, economic, political and cultural life, and even body autonomy.
Girls can and must be part of the solution to the challenges we face
#Girl4President – indeed, the entire Because I am a Girl campaign – calls for the enabling environment that will allow girls everywhere to learn, lead and decide their future. Ending school-related gender-based violence and ensuring girls can participate in education system planning, monitoring and accountability mechanisms will help to do that.
Girls are part of the solution
Girls can and must be part of the solution to the challenges we face, and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those relating to education and gender equality, will require the active participation of the girls the goals have been, at least ostensibly, written for.
That makes this new call to action relevant not only to WEF, but also to the entire post-2015 development agenda process and beyond.