Globally, an estimated 42 million girls do not go to school. Children of women who have completed primary school are 40% less likely to die before age of five. As part of its commitment to help achieve gender equality by 2015, as represented by United Nations Millennium Development Goal 3, Dubai Cares has launched “Girls’ Education Campaign 2011” to raise funds to support its programs that empower girls in developing countries by addressing gender imbalances in primary education in their communities. Running throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan, the campaign underlines the importance of providing girls with access to quality primary education.
In line with the vision of the founder of Dubai Cares, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Cares launches “Girls’ Education Campaign 2011”, the latest in a series of campaigns by the philanthropic organization that run throughout Ramadan. In 2010, Dubai Cares launched its “School Feeding Campaign” which raised funds that are currently supporting school feeding programs for undernourished primary school aged children in the Gaza Strip and Bangladesh, benefiting 80,000 and 88,000 children, respectively.
Highlighting the significance of the campaign, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of the UAE based philanthropic organization, said, “With the launch of Dubai Cares in 2007, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed emphasized the importance of providing children in developing countries with access to quality primary education. This campaign aims to address some of the gaps that prevent girls from going to school, which we have identified through our monitoring, evaluation and learning process.
Al Gurg added: “Almost 42 million girls globally do not go to school and are missing out on an opportunity to improve their lives. Studies have shown that girls who receive an education are able to pass on their education to their own children and eventually the community at large; have a better chance of obtaining an income; can better access and understand the required daily nutrition needs and sanitation; and, are better equipped to prevent illnesses and fight abuse, allowing them to truly play a transformative role in society. Our Ramadan campaign aims to raise awareness of the plight of girls in developing countries and to mobilize the UAE community to help change their lives by donating towards Dubai Cares programs that focus on girls’ education.”
Although universal primary education in general is a critical area of focus globally, a number of governments, philanthropic organizations, corporations, among others, are particularly focusing on girls’ education owing to the imbalance that exists with regard to access to primary education between boys and girls. For instance in Yemen, nearly 80% of out-of-school girls are unlikely to ever enroll compared with 36% of boys, whereas in Pakistan the figures are 62% for girls and 27% for boys . Educating girls delivers benefits to an entire community through increased economic productivity, better health and later marriage. In one instance, studies have shown that investment in girls’ education raised the GDP of the entire country by 0.2 per cent .
The UAE community, both individuals and corporate organizations can get involved in this campaign by: