International Day of the Girl: Empowering Girls Through Education with READ Foundation
On October 11th each year, the global community unites to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. This day not only serves as a stark reminder of the challenges and discrimination girls worldwide encounter but also emphasises the importance of empowering girls and safeguarding their human rights. At the forefront of this mission is READ Foundation, a dedicated organisation committed to providing access to quality education, empowering girls and working diligently towards realising the objectives for the International Day of the Girl Child.
Understanding the Significance of International Day of the Girl Child
Established in 2012, the International Day of the Girl Child aims to address and highlight the unique needs and challenges girls worldwide face. Its primary objectives include promoting empowerment for girls, amplifying their voices, and staunchly advocating for their human rights. Furthermore, this day underscores the need to eradicate gender-based disparities in various sectors, including education, child marriages, access to opportunities, and protection against violence and discrimination.
This year's theme, "Digital generation. Our generation," highlights the significant gender gap in internet access, focusing mainly on girls. It is alarming to note that there are approximately 2.2 billion individuals under 25 without internet access worldwide, with girls disproportionately affected. This digital divide can further widen their educational disparities and opportunities. Employment and education statistics reveal a glaring contrast, with one in four girls experiencing unemployment, lack of education, or absence of vocational training, compared to one in ten boys.
READ Foundation's Unwavering Commitment to Empowering Girls
Firmly believing in education as the cornerstone of progress and development, the READ Foundation acknowledges the transformative power of education in breaking the chains of poverty and inequality. With a relentless commitment to providing every child, especially girls, with access to quality education, the Foundation has made significant strides in this direction.
Educating Over 180,000 Students: Since its inception, the READ Foundation has provided education to over 180,000 students, with girls constituting nearly half of this number. Over 150,000 students are enrolled in schools operated by the READ Foundation across various countries, with girls making up almost half of the enrolment.
Promoting Gender Equality in Staffing: The Foundation not only commits to gender equality among its student population but also within its teaching staff. Women represent 70% of the over 6,000 teachers employed by the READ Foundation, effectively serving as empowering role models for students.
Launching Girls-Only Education Projects: With UKAid Match funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), the READ Foundation has initiated a crucial girls' education program in a remote area of Pakistan. This region is notorious for having the lowest literacy rates for girls and women worldwide. Over three years, this project aims to:
Improve education access for 3,600 out-of-school girls.
Enhance education quality by training 120 female teachers.
Challenge and change harmful community attitudes towards girls' education.
Establish READ Foundation schools to facilitate graduates' transition into the formal education system.
Celebrating Achievements on International Day of the Girl Child
On the International Day of the Girl Child, it is fitting to celebrate and acknowledge the commendable work of organisations like the READ Foundation and others devoted to empowering girls through education. As the world navigates through challenges such as forced displacement, climate change, natural disasters, and conflicts, recognising the vulnerability of girls and women is crucial. Empowering them is not merely a moral imperative but is also vital for successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development