Raising her up: an Irish voice for girls’ education

Following the release of the song “Raise Her Up” on International Women’s Day in Ireland, GPE hosted a round table discussion on girls’ education with personalities, artists and youth leaders to bring awareness to the importance of girls’ education. Here are the keys takeaways from the event.

March 17, 2021 by GPE Secretariat
2 minutes read
Raise Her Up

On Tuesday, March 9, GPE hosted a round table discussion on girls’ education with Irish artists Hermione Hennessy and Gemma Hayes, the Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy, GPE Youth Leader, Bridget Akurut and the CEO of GPE, Alice Albright.

The discussion took place following the release of the song “Raise Her Up” on International Women’s Day in Ireland, with the intention of bringing awareness to the importance of girls’ education.

“We wanted to get across a very clear message. In 2021, or any year, it is just not acceptable to have so many girls out of education,” said Gemma Hayes.

GPE Youth Leader, Bridget Akurut, talked about how COVID-19 is affecting education in Uganda and the challenges girls face due to the pandemic. “We are seeing the negative perceptions among the community where boy children are being favored over girls in returning to school.”

Hermione Hennessy, singer-songwriter and daughter of the Irish musician Christie Hennessy, shared a story about her father’s daily struggles without an education and her passion to ensure every child obtains the skills to succeed. “We truly can make a difference by having a voice and making it clear that without an education, we pretty much have nothing.” Ahead of the event, she wrote an opinion piece in the Irish Times, advocating for Ireland and other countries to step up their commitment to global education.

Alice Albright talked about the power of girls’ education and how GPE is putting gender and girls’ education at the center of its policy. “If you invest in girls, it has a dramatically positive impact on building economic growth and strength. It also has a positive impact on curtailing health issues, ending early childhood marriage, helping girls educate their own children. There are a number of intergenerational effects.”

Minister Brophy also discussed how the Irish government is prioritizing education. “…It is why we put education at the heart of our development policy issues and spending. We regard it as absolutely crucial. It is such a breaker in terms of the cycle of poverty and in terms of the way out of it.” The Minister had also spoken with the Irish Times about the Irish government’s plans in making a “substantial” new aid commitment to education.

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