Washington, DC – Thirty-five Lasallian entities from around the world are among the more than 100 signatories who recently issued an open letter supporting quality education for girls. The letter, entitled “Beijing+25: The road to gender equality begins with girls’ education,” was released on July 7, the day that the Generation Equality Forum would have started. That gathering was postponed due to COVID-19.
The letter highlights the importance of educating girls, stating, “Girls’ education enables girls to access the full spectrum of their rights. It is also linked with economic growth, climate change mitigation and resilience, promoting peace and bolstering health and education outcomes for children. Education is a critical pathway to achieving gender equality, and has the power to transform the harmful social norms that hold girls and women back from exercising their agency and realizing their full potential.”
In addition to signing the letter as strong advocates for females, many Lasallian ministries around the world work daily to address the unique educational issues of girls and young women. To name just a few examples: accessibility via scholarships (Ethiopian Catholic University and Tumba Lasallian School, Congo), dormitories for health and safety protection (St. La Salle School, Kenya; Ethiopian Catholic University; Tumba Lasallian School; and Talba Secondary School, Cameroon), programs for girls with special needs (Egypt, Lebanon, Vietnam), Lasallian Women of Hope (feminine hygiene products for young women in Papua New Guinea, Congo and Africa) and gender-based violence prevention programs along with victims’ assistance (Dominican Republic, Peru, Lebanon, Portugal and Mozambique).
The letter also states that education is “a critical pathway to achieving gender equality, and has the power to transform the harmful social norms that hold girls and women back from exercising their agency and realizing their full potential.” The signatories “call on all leaders to reinforce the importance and the powerful role of education for women and girls’ rights.”