Today the UK Government launched the G7 Girls’ Education Declaration outlining a series of global commitments on girls’ education for G7 leaders to sign up to, including new global targets to get 40 million more girls into school and 20 million more girls reading by the age of 10 in low and lower middle-income countries by 2026.
Plan International UK has been calling for many of these commitments and welcomes the content of the declaration.
Responding, Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said:
“The G7 Girls’ Education Declaration is a clear political commitment to tackle the challenges faced by girls around the world in accessing a safe, high quality education, and we call on G7 leaders to unanimously sign up to it.
“Although we welcome the commitments in this declaration, along with the importance it places on comprehensive sexuality education and girls’ leadership, its good intentions must be backed up by funding. Without it, this declaration will be nothing but more empty promises from the UK Government.
“As the UK prepares to host the G7, the world is looking to us for leadership on girls’ education. But if it is to deliver on this declaration, as well as its manifesto commitment to 12 years of quality education for girls, the UK Government must urgently reconsider the shameful cuts to overseas aid announced last month.
“Cutting UK Aid is a misguided attempt to balance the books on the backs of the world’s most vulnerable children, especially girls, at a time when they most need our support. COVID-19 has created the biggest education emergency of our lifetime, and we know that in times of crisis, girls are less likely than boys to return to school. They face a greater risk of early marriage, sexual exploitation, and early pregnancy; and for many, the chance for an education will be lost forever.
“Now is not the time to shirk our responsibilities by cutting UK aid. Unless funding is urgently restored, this declaration will become another broken promise.”
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About Plan International UK
Plan International UK is a global children’s charity. We work to give every child the same chance in life.
In every child there’s a spark of imagination, curiosity and ambition. But not every child is born with the same opportunities.
When you face poverty or violence the odds are stacked against you. When you’re a girl it’s even harder to be safe, in school and in charge of your body.
All children deserve an education, health care and clean water. All children deserve the chance to thrive.
We’re fighting so every child, especially every girl, knows their value. We’re fighting so the communities they’re growing up in – and the world around them – value them too.
And if disaster strikes we’re there to protect children, keep them learning and help them recover.