Updated: Sep 17, 2018
Growing up I had many strong female role-models to look up to my mum for starters, her sisters and my beloved grandma's (may their soul rest in peace).
They ensured I grew up to be strong, independent and a confident woman who never felt inferior. In them I saw confidence, leadership and accomplishment and as I grew up I envisioned myself with those qualities. In their own way they educated me by giving me the skills to transform my own life and unlock my true potential.
Unfortunately not a lot of girls are that lucky. Girls in our world face a variety of barriers to becoming educated: conflict, war, and violence; human trafficking; lack of access to safe water and medical care; gender discrimination, child marriage, and bonded labor; displacement; and others.
As we take a step further into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, improving data on girls and addressing the issues that are holding them back is critical for fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.
One such issue that is standing in the way of girls’ progress is ‘Education’. Girls should be enabled to benefit from an ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills, including through formal education and training. However, many girls have been denied access to these opportunities.
Lack of access to education (addressed in SDG 4) is a widespread issue across the developing world, and it affects women to a greater degree than men. I greatly believe one of the ways in addressing this issues is tackling the underlying attitudes and beliefs of men who hold power, both at the local, national and indeed international level.
Katja Iversen, chief executive, Women Deliver, New York, US - summarises this issue quite well in that girls needs, voices and perspectives must be central in high-level, global conversations and in the SDGs.
I came across a very insightful article by Anna Leach (The Guardian) in which she talks about how can the sustainable development goals (SDGs) tackle the underlying gender inequality that holds girls back. I believe it's definitely a must read article.
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