This year’s G7 Summit in Canada was a unique opportunity to get our leaders to act on the most neglected, yet critical, issue in the world today: the education of girls in crises and conflict.
An urgent petition started by former refugee Fatuma urged G7 leaders to support education for millions of girls living in crises around the world, and gained over 160,000 signatures.
With the largest number of refugees and internally displaced people globally since WWII, millions of children are currently out of school. And girls in crises are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys. If we do not act now, the world could face a lost generation.
In a crisis, education can create a lifeline for girls.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared his support for girls’ education in emergencies and led efforts on the issue at the G7.
This issue is gaining momentum on the global stage. This was the moment for us all to call upon the other G7 leaders to rally behind a Declaration to Educate Girls in Crises that is backed with concrete financial investments and prevent a lost generation of girls.
Over 160,000 people supported Fatuma's petition on giving girls vital access to education in crises and conflicts.
In a crisis, education can create a lifeline for girls. Investing in education can be a turning point for girls and women’s empowerment and the health, peace and prosperity of entire communities and countries.
A pledge of $1.3 billion dollars by G7 leaders could reach 3.7 million children through education.
"I was one of the lucky ones, I got a chance at a better life. Education has saved my life."
- Fatuma, former refugee from civil war in Somalia
QUICK FACTS ABOUT EDUCATION AND CRISES:
- 75 million children and youth, predominately girls, are out of school in 35 crisis-affected countries.
- Families uprooted by conflict spend on average 26 years as refugees or as internally displaced people.
- Education protects girls from harmful practices: in countries with the highest prevalence of child marriage, girls with secondary schooling are 5 times less likely to marry as children compared to girls with little or no education.
In recent years, less than 2% of humanitarian funding globally has been dedicated to education. Although education in emergencies is repeatedly reported as a top-priority by families and children themselves, during times of crises it is often the first service to be suspended and the last service to be resumed.