Campaigning for girls’ education across the globe

Friday 11th October is International Day of the Girl: a day when groups from all over the world take action to highlight, discuss and ultimately change situations and actions that devalue, neglect and oppress girls. Established and led by girls themselves, these proactive collectives join together to discuss, highlight and advance girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe, helping everyone to adopt new ways of thinking about gender issues.

I feel strongly that part of our role as teachers is to educate our girls to want to make a difference to the world in which they live, educating them to make the world a better place. I was therefore delighted when the Girls’ Leadership Group embraced this idea and decided to make International Day of the Girl a landmark in their own forceful drive for change. On this day, they will be undertaking a series of challenges and initiatives both to mark the day and to support a charity they feel particularly passionate about: Educating Girls Globally.

Entirely under their own steam, the GLG has become one of 35 girls’ schools in the world to embrace the charity. They have built connections with girls’ leadership groups across the globe, forming links with schools in Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Together, this global group aims to raise money to support girls’ schools in developing countries and raise awareness of the importance of girls’ education in combatting global poverty. The girls are rightly proud of the connections they have made and together the schools are supporting a fund raising project for a school in Malawi where the girls want the funds they raise to help build classrooms, toilets and a security wall to make girls feel safe in their school.

One of the many challenges facing girls in developing countries is the distance they have to walk to get to school. For many it is a distance of 10km. As a school we are also getting behind the Plan UK and GSA Because I am a Girl campaign of walking 10kms on International Day of the Girl and we are encouraging all our girls in the Senior School to be part of a team of 10 to walk 1km in their lunchtime and donate money to Educating Girls Globally. The Girls Leadership Group are taking the challenge further and walking the full 10kms!

We are also showing on International Day of the Girl the film Girl Rising which highlights the importance of girls’ education and the difference education made to the lives of six girls. The film tells the girls’ stories. It is powerful.

As our Head Girl, Harriet Clough said to the school last week “Being able to just give a little of what we have at Bedford Girls’ School to the school in Malawi will make such an incredible difference to the lives and education of the girls that attend the school”. Girls at BGS are making a difference and I am very proud of their efforts to do so.

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