GPE’s convening power has huge potential to advance a progressive global agenda that empowers women and girls through education via
- greater support for female teachers
- wider attention to gender equality in curricula, materials, learning environments and education systems
- more serious attention to equity and inclusion
- reversing the neglect of literacy and life-skills training programs through the development of more integrated education systems that offer multiple pathways towards education access especially of marginalized girls and women, and those living in crisis and conflict situations.
Systems-strengthening in education, being a core part of GPE’s support to governments, has to be participatory, relevant, and responsive to the needs of marginalized groups and communities, especially girls and women. GPE has the power to mobilize the resources needed to strengthen public education systems that are truly transformative for all women and girls.
Women have always been at the forefront of change
In the many places and spaces where authoritarianism has been ascendant, the face of resistance has been a woman’s. Where rights have been denied or curtailed, women have joined the broad ranks of human rights defenders and peace negotiators.
Women teachers, students, activists have been no exception – they have championed education rights in parliaments, in community halls, in schools, in the streets and in other spaces where decisions and policies are shaped. They built and leveraged their collective power to jointly find solutions, speak in a united voice – finding power and a shared vision through movement building and solidarity.
This is perhaps what being part of a four women-strong civil society contingent in the GPE Board represents to me: a partnership and promise of joint action by women, advancing girls’ and women’s rights in and beyond education in this important space. I look forward to building and reinforcing a durable alliance with other colleagues in the days ahead.