OTTAWA — Today, The ONE Campaign applauded Canada’s strong pledge of CAD $180 million to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which helps address the global education crisis that has left millions of impoverished young women out of school. For the past year, The ONE Campaign spearheaded an aggressive digital and grassroots campaign, which resulted in 50,000 Canadians urging the Trudeau government to support educational opportunities for girls and women.
Upon the announcement of Canada’s pledge, ONE’s Canada Director, Stuart Hickox, said:
“We applaud the Trudeau government for announcing a strong pledge to fund educational opportunities for girls and women. It’s not enough to simply say you support the empowerment of girls and women — those words must be backed by investments like this one. Today’s announcement is a recognition that efforts to build a safer, more stable, and more economically productive world are dependent upon women and girls receiving a strong education. We have seen from coast to coast that Canadians are eager to see the Trudeau government back its laudable aspiration with action by being more ambitious in supporting women’s empowerment.
“I want to thank the thousands upon thousands of ONE members who used their voice and the over 100 members who visited MP’s in ridings across Canada to urge their elected leaders to be bold and support additional education opportunities for young women. As Canada’s presidency of the G7 gets underway, we hope this investment is a sign that the Trudeau government will follow through with even more ambitious action and more significant new investments on women’s economic empowerment. Health, education and economic empowerment are the steps to ending the cycle of extreme poverty.”
In addition to pressuring the Trudeau government to make a strong GPE pledge, over 9,000 Canadians signed a House of Commons petition on global education funding that ONE initiated, which was presented in the House of Commons by MP Anita Vandenbeld. MPs from all parties have risen in the House of Commons to present similar petitions delivered to them by ONE members in their constituencies. In October, dozens of ONE members attended pre-budget hearings across the country to ask the Canadian government for an increase in funding to global education. The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Finance has since echoed this request in their recommendations to the Minister of Finance.
About The Global Education Crisis
Today, over 130 million girls are out of school because they lack access to a quality education. If this were the population of a country, it would be the 10th largest nation in the world — the size of Canada, France and Australia combined. This has created an education crisis for women and girls. Not only are they missing out on opportunities to fulfil their potential; they are more vulnerable as a result. New research from ONE shows how the lack of a decent education results in 2,800 avoidable deaths in the poorest countries each day. Girls out of school are more likely to become child brides, more vulnerable to diseases like HIV and more likely to die young.
As ONE has documented, educating every girl to a secondary level in sub-Saharan Africa could help save the lives on 1.2 million children. Educating girls to the same level as boys could benefit developing countries to the tune of at least $112 billion a year. For less than the cost of a loaf of bread each day, a girl in the world’s poorest countries could go to school – a small investment that could change the world.