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Girls' Education Forum, 7 July

11 July 2016

Girls' Education Challenge to help a further 175,000 girls in the world's poorest countries get an education

Last week, at an event attended by Education Development Trust, Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, described how the Department for International Development (DFID) will provide £100 million to help enrol out of school girls who have dropped out or never attended school due to family crises, conflict, poverty, child marriage or early pregnancy. The funding will also be used to continue the Girls' Education Challenge's support for 1 million disadvantaged girls across the developing world.

Greening commented that: "Education doesn't just shape individuals; it shapes countries – but right now too many young girls are deprived of an education simply because of their gender. [This] event is about putting a spotlight on that, and focusing on what education can do to unlock prospects for girls around the world.

"The UK is leading the fight for gender equality and has already helped 5.3 million girls in developing countries receive a quality education."

Greening made the comment at the Girls' Education Forum, held in London on 7 July, with speakers including Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Department for International Development, John Gai Yoah, the Education Minister for South Sudan, former Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and other governments, businesses and aid agencies who are driving the implementation of Global Goal 4 to achieve universal, quality education.

Education Development Trust attended the forum as one on the Girls Education Challenge implementers. To date, the programme has reached 97,000 marginalised girls in Kenya. Mark Rotich, Project Director based in our Kenya office, and Helen Mobey, International Development Team Advisor, provided an insight in to how our results have been achieved.

"It is through an integrated project approach of galvanising support from the households, the community and the school, as well as building the self-aspiration of girls that has helped us reach an increase in enrolment and improved learning outcomes," Mark comments.

"We use project data to provide evidence of what is working, and what is not working, to inform our decision making. The combination of good project delivery and the use of data has enabled us to drive the desired results and surpass set targets for girls who have enrolled, and retaining those girls once they have enrolled. The ability to deliver these results in this context, along with our good track record, led to Education Development Trust being invited to the forum to share of experiences and lessons learnt."

Helen Mobey commented that "The forum was an inspiring day along with some fantastic news that Justine Greening is committed to prioritising girls’ education in international development policy. Although there has been much progress made in girls' education, and projects such as our Wasichana Wote Wasome in Kenya are contributing to transforming girls' lives, there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in education. The public Statements of Action made by governments, businesses and aid agencies who attended the forum therefore represent a positive step forward in reaching the most marginalised girls around the world."

For more information on our out Wasichana Wote Wasome project, please take a look at our case study Transforming lives in Kenya [link opens in a new window].