Girls in Asia Face Tricky Journeys to School

July 12, 2013
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By Matt Crook, Plan Asia

Sixty-six million girls around the world are out of school. The reasons why they can’t go to school are varied. For many, the long journey is just too much to bear. For some, dangers on the road keep them at home. For others, it simply comes down to their parents not seeing the value in educating girls.

© Plan Asia/2013. Humaira, 18, from Pakistan believes every girl has the right to an education and she is hoping to go medical school once she has passed her exams. In her spare time, she tutors girls at one of Plan’s local NFE (Non Formal Education) centres in Pakistan that takes place in her family’s home.

These are just a handful of the barriers we are hoping to break down on July 12, the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, dubbed Malala Day by Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Education. Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban last October for being a schoolgirl, will be at the UN in New York to make her first public address since the attack and highlight the plight of “other Malalas” around the world.

Taking over
With Malala will be 500 youth delegates who are taking over the UN to share their ideas on how to keep education on the agenda as we near the end of the Millennium Development Goals cycle.

The girls in our slideshow face many challenges in going to school, but they are determined to get their education because they know it can help them achieve their goals. But there are tens of millions of other children who are denied an education and girls are bearing the brunt of the crisis. Globally, 1 in 5 adolescent girls is out of school.

Make a difference
If, like Malala, you think it’s time to change this, you can Raise Your Hand now in support of girls’ education. Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 hands, which will be presented to the UN Secretary General calling for action.

In addition to activities in New York, we are marking Malala Day with events around the world, including:

  • Hosting a live link-up to the UN event at the Southbank Centre in London, UK, which will be attended by hundreds of school children and youth representatives.
  • Supporting youth takeovers of Denmark’s and Sierra Leone’s national parliaments.
  • Arranging delegations of Plan-supported girls in Pakistan to meet education ministers in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign backs Gordon Brown’s work to end gender discrimination in schools around the world. Join the campaign and raise your hand in support of girls’ education here. [LINK: http://plan-international.org/what-you-can-do/raise-your-hand-now]. Follow Plan Asia (@PlanAsia) on Twitter for all the latest on Malala Day.

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