Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day and people around the world are coming together on the theme of ‘breaking the bias’ to fight gender imbalances in our homes, workplaces and communities. Marked for over 100 years, we know that International Women’s Day is an important annual occasion to celebrate milestones reached, elevate visibility of persistent issues, and catalyse positive change towards gender equality. Today, we join the large-scale global call to action for a fairer and more inclusive world.
As an organisation, we strive to change education for good and we are proud that a number of our programmes seek to increase gender equity. Longstanding biases and norms mean girls are less likely to access education or career opportunities, or to become leaders in their countries or communities – and lack of access to education increases their risk of early marriage, teen pregnancy, and gender-based violence. We work with education leaders, schools and parents to tackle the underlying biases and gendered behaviours.
In 2022, we launched our new transformational model for girls’ education, based on intensive research and evidence. A key pillar of the approach is ‘positive gender perspectives’ – we know we can amplify the impact of our work by creating, empowering and supporting positive gender attitudes in all stakeholders, including girls and boys themselves. This involves promoting positive role models across the system, including the proportion of women in leadership roles. Here are examples of how we are breaking the bias through our programmes in sub–Saharan Africa:
In 2020/2021, we reached 3.55 million learners, including 1.7 million female learners. By 2024, we aim to have worked in seven countries and reached 500,000 marginalised girls, equipping girls and boys, teachers and leaders with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to build a more gender-equitable society.
Click here to read more about our transformative approach to girls’ education and join the conversation with us on Twitter and LinkedIn under #IWD2022 and #BreaktheBias.