11 Apr Connecting Girls, Inspiring Future
It is always interesting to see how much talking there is about gender equality around 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD), and how quickly public interest moves on. This post aims to be a reminder, one month after the IWD of how important the theme of this year’s IWD is.
The theme of IWD 2012 is “connecting girls, inspiring future”. In fact, investments in women and girls have been a top priority issue in the development agenda in recent decade. It is not only out of ethical concerns; more importantly, it is fundamental to sustainable economic growth. The World Bank calls investing in women “smart economies”; the United Nations regards women as the “most valuable untapped natural resource”, and the OECD suggests that none of the Millennium Development Goals could be achieved unless both men and women participate equally. Women are an indispensable part of development, and the most effective way to open up the gateway for participation is through education. Indeed, education helps building women’s various skills and developing greater confidence within them to lead; it also improves women’s health, financial independence and decision-making ability which eventually bring benefits to their families and even the entire community. This is, according to the United Nations, the “multiplier effects” that women’s education generates; and thus education is the way to connect girls from all over the world to inspire the future of our world.
We also realized that by bringing girls together and connecting them through Wedu’s presentation we are creating the space for local leaders to emerge who can then build on the connections they make.
Wedu’s mission aligns with the theme of this year’s WID as we are committed to the provision of higher education to young women in the developing world.We do not provide aid to these young individuals: we promote investments in them. We strive to create the best condition for these young people to be successful, so they can reinvest their future incomes in others through becoming Education Angels and mentors. Check out what we do here, and join us in making a better future for women – and eventually the world.
Stef Lau is currently a MSc Social Policy and Development student at LSE and the communication intern at Wedu Fund. She has previously undertaken internships in both the public and private sector in China and Ghana and she has also had study abroad experiences in National University of Singapore (Singapore) and UCLA (the United States). She is particularly interested in promoting gender equality as well as the welfare of migrants.