UNGEI - Global Section - UNICEF Executive Director speaks out on girls' education and e... - 0 views
“The sad reality is that if our progress continues at its current pace, by 2015 there still will be approximately 56 million children out of school,” Mr. Lake said at the opening session of the E4 meeting. “And worse: You can count on those children being the hardest to reach, living in the poorest countries, with the highest and hardest barriers to overcome.”
• Children from the poorest 20 per cent of their societies, the so-called ‘fifth quintile’, are much less likely to attend primary school than those in the richest quintile
• Girls in impoverished rural households are the most likely to be excluded from primary school
• Children from indigenous and minority groups, as well as children with disabilities, are the least likely to be able to attend or stay in school.
“These are the forgotten children,” said Mr. Lake, “marginalized simply because of the economic and social inequities in their societies, left behind simply because they were born poor or female, or of the wrong caste or in the wrong country.”
Indeed, the evidence shows that educated girls, in particular, grow into agents of change for their families, communities and societies as a whole. Providing girls with quality education can be a highly effective tool to address poverty, fight disease and improve economic development.
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Full participation can be fostered by involving girls in social support networks that help them stay in school, and by encouraging them to participate actively in making decisions that affect their lives. UNGEI is already supporting such initiatives in many places.