Teachers as Changemakers: Advocates for Women and Girls

Dear GlobalEd Readers,

Today –March 8th– is International Women’s Day!

Today we imagine a world in which differences are valued and women are equal. We imagine a world free of stereotypes and discrimination. We imagine girls attending school in all countries in the world. Today we imagine girls and women being able to achieve their potential and freely share their talents.

 

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of listening to a live interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Malala –a young woman I greatly admire- spoke with British journalist Zanny Minton Beddoes of the Economist.

Malala reminded us that “130 million girls don’t have access to education.” Her goal, and the work she does through the Malala Fund, is “to see every girl in school receiving a quality education.”  Malala asked “If half the population is held back, how can we think about a country’s progress?”

Sustainable Development Goal #5 is gender equality. The SDGs began in 2015 and are scheduled to be achieved by 2030. But we have much work to do to reach this goal and it’s 9 targets. Many countries are currently far behind and the pandemic is causing even more girls to drop out of school in low and middle-income nations. Additionally, wars and turmoil in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Palestine, and the Sahel region rage on, denying more and more children opportunities to learn.

The world needs our teachers to be advocates for girls’ education. Unless we accomplish the targets of SDG#5 and end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere and eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation gender equality will not be achieved.

Education has a major role to play. Teachers as Changemakers, as advocates for girls, is key to achieving this goal. Girls and women need to receive an education so their talents can shine. It is the teacher, since she or he lives in the community and works with girls and young women on a daily basis, who must accomplish this task. They serve as role models and need to emphasize that girls must believe in themselves.

Without ensuring that women participate fully and have equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life, we will not have gender equity. There are two keys to achieving SDG #5.  Accomplishing this goal worldwide has two key requirements.  First, girls and women need teachers who are changemakers, advocates for their learning. And, the girls and women of our planet must receive a quality education.

If you have an interest in learning more about programming for girls and women around the world, here are five blogs posted on this site over the last three years. You can read about programs serving girls and women in Kenya, India, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Rwanda, and the US.

Five GlobalEd Leadership blogs about programs for girls and women:

Tabiths Nakoli’s Keeping girls in school one Bint Boz at a Time:

https://globaledleadership.org/2022/02/17/keeping-girls-in-school-one-binti-boz-at-a-time/

Lawrence Chickering & Anjula Tyagi’s educate Girls Globally: Recruiting Partners for Breakthrough Empowerment of Girls in Government Schools:

https://globaledleadership.org/2018/05/09/educate-girls-globally-recruiting-partners-for-breakthrough-empowerment-of-girls-in-government-schools/

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes’ Educating Women for a Changing Planet:

https://globaledleadership.org/2019/03/13/educating-women-for-a-changing-planet/

Venus Molina’s MANA de San Diego: Empowering Latina from the Classroom to the Boardroom:

https://globaledleadership.org/2020/08/19/mana-de-san-diego-empowering-latinas-from-the-classroom-to-the-boardroom/

Happy International Women’s Day 2022!

Paula