February 17, 2020

The Mercy Girl Effect supports the Mission of Ireland

Mercy Girl Effect (MGE) Participants

The Mercy Girl Effect supports the mission of Ireland who organized a high-level event to launch "The Drive for Five" initiative, which aims to spur "five transformative actions" to promote education of adolescent girls.

Like the Mercy Girl Effect (MGE), which has a focus on Mercy projects on the ground, this new campaign calls on Nation States to take "five transformative actions" for girls' education to deliver on the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG5) of the UN's 2030 Agenda: gender equality.

The five actions include:

  1. Guarantee that every girl receives 12 years of free quality education;
  2. Provide supportive school environments through gender-sensitive curriculums, mentoring and menstrual hygiene facilities;
  3. Strengthen teacher training and provide girls with quality education;
  4. Ensure that every girl is safe from violence;
  5. Keep girls healthy and in school by providing adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

The Irish Representative to the UN Ms.Nason said that Ireland shows that "when we invest in girls, they rise up, and when they rise up, they lead...”  This focus is not unlike the focus of the MGE which stresses the importance of  (1) Awareness Raising/  (2) ACTION projects and (3) leadership and Skills Training.

The Irish government has committed to one quarter of a billion euros (about 273 million U.S. dollars) over five years to global education, putting focus on girls and emergencies. Stressing Investment in Education, with the 5 transformative actions as outlined above.

We, the Mercy Girl Effect initiative were delighted with this emphasis as it mirrors our own focus building schools, providing scholarships and responding to need in war-torn areas. Over the past number of years the Mercy Girl Effect has raised significant monies to provide educational opportunities for girls (especially in Sudan, Zambia and N. E Nigeria).

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, for his part, stressed the need to overturn deeply rooted stereotypes and social norms that see women and girls as less deserving of an education.

He also called for investments to help women and girls build new skills so that they are equipped for the changing world of work.

"A good education can boost a woman's quality of life and open doors to decent work opportunities. It can give women and girls the life skills they need to adjust to an uncertain future to stand up to discrimination, violence, and to make decisions about health care, including sexual and reproductive health," he noted.

Some statistics to think about:

  • 130 million girls worldwide are not in school,
  • 5 million girls are excluded from secondary education.
  • Despite increasing global gender parity in secondary school enrolment, only 29 percent of girls complete lower secondary
  • And just 13 percent complete upper secondary in low-income countries.

As our motto proclaims – “The Future of Our World is only as Bright as the Future of our Girls". (Michelle Obama)

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm 

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