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International Day of the Girl: educators worldwide salute GirlForce

The global education union movement applauds the momentous activism and leadership of girls around the world. Educators pledge to continue working to empower girls by promoting the inalienable right of every girl to free quality education and by pushing to end school-related gender-based violence. Read David Edwards’ statement on the International Day of the Girl.


On this International Day of the Girl, the education union movement salutes the courage, activism and leadership of the many girls working diligently for a just, equitable and sustainable world

2019 will surely go down in history as the year when ‘girl power’ sent ripple effects all around the globe.

GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable, the theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl, speaks directly to the impact that girls can have on their communities, and on the world, when they are free and able to release their potential. Few will be unaware of last month’s massive mobilisation of young (and older) people all over the world to push governments to take action to address the current climate justice. A mobilisation that mushroomed after Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s initially lonely ‘school strike for the climate’ became a global phenomenon.

And she is not alone: Anuna De Wever (Belgium), Madison Pearl Edwards (Belize), Tokota Iron Eyes (USA), Helena Gualinga (Ecuador), Leah Namugerwa (Uganda), Ridhima Pandey (India), Autumn Peltier (Canada) and Marinel Ubaldo (Philippines) are also leading activists and advocates for climate justice in their respective communities.

As educators, we salute the courage and capacity of these and countless other young girls and young women who dare to step up, step out and to raise their voices to say: “Enough! We must and we will make change happen…”

We support their efforts in our own work to deliver quality education for all; we will hold governments accountable for the promises they made under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,to leave no-one behind;

We will continue our work to keep schools free from school-related gender-based violence, which prevents millions of girls from enjoying the right to education in too many parts of the world.

Evidence shows that educating girls has massive returns for their families, communities and for society in general.

But that is not the only reason why we will continue to do all we can to make sure all girls everywhere can access and successfully complete a full cycle of free, quality public education.

We do so because the right to education is inalienable and because as educators it is incumbent on us to defend every girl’s right to education today, and every day.


David Edwards

EI General Secretary



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