Investing in girls’ education transforms individuals, communities, countries and the entire world

In the run-up to international women’s day, NL’s Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Pascalle Grotenhuis will highlight ways in which the Netherlands supports the future of women and girls worldwide. Only with the support of all people, regardless of gender, and with the full commitment of governments worldwide, can we guarantee that each girl gets the chance to develop into the woman she wants to be. First up: girls’ education!

Girls' Education
Image: ©Global Partnership for Education (GPE) / Kelley Lynch

Globally, around 129 million girls are out of school because of cultural norms, gender-based violence, early marriage or distance to school. The Netherlands is committed to improving access to education for all girls. An investment in girls is an investment in the future. This year, we renewed our support to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the largest global fund focused on providing access to quality education for children in lower-income countries, with special attention for girls.

Girl in class
Image: ©Global Partnership for Education (GPE) / Kelley Lynch

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, around 60% of the 10 million out-of-school children are girls. Investing in girls’ education transforms individuals, communities, countries and the entire world. Girls who receive an education are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives. They earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families. GPE works together with the Nigerian government and all relevant education partners in the country, to tackle the barriers that prevent girls from seizing the opportunity to learn, develop and grow into the women they want to become.

Mariam is 8 years old and is in the second grade. Her grandfather, the Village Chief, wants his granddaughter to finish school and become a doctor or nurse who can help uplift the health of her community. But Mariam wants to contribute in a different way: “I want to be a teacher so I can help other children learn”, she says.

Image: ©Global Partnership for Education (GPE) / Kelley Lynch

Female teachers serve as important role models for girls, inspiring them and enhancing their motivation and learning outcomes. GPE provided more than 15.000 scholarships for female teachers in five Nigerian states, enabling them to continue learning and become higher qualified teachers. Interested in learning more about GPE’s work in Nigeria and more than 80 other countries? Go to their website