Today, on the International Day of the Girl Child, Dubai Cares continues to celebrate the determination of girls everywhere in their quest to fulfill their ambitions. On this day, Dubai Cares calls on governments, activists, institutions and individuals to come together with a collective goal: improving the rights and opportunities of girls around the world.
Commenting on the occasion, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: "In the present day, it is distressing that girls still face inequality in a number of areas. They endure discrimination when seeking education, medical care, legal rights, protection from violence and marriage. Dubai Cares is a true advocate of empowering girls around the world, and we believe in achieving gender equality. Equity is a prominent theme in all of Dubai Cares education programs and we will continue to build on our success in securing equal access to education for boys and girls, and be advocates of female empowerment across the globe."
In many parts of the world, young girls are still expected to sideline their education in favor of domestic duties. Some are burdened to care and support children as young or younger than themselves, forcing them to enter low-pay and labor intensive activities to earn income.
Dubai Cares has also launched a number of programs to support female education in South Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Mozambique and Philippines. In South Sudan, Dubai Cares built and equipped two schools as well as used school bags as an incentive to increase enrollment of girls and boys in Juba County, Central Equatoria State. In Pakistan, Dubai Cares worked to improve access of girls to quality primary education by supporting schools and communities in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh provinces. Dubai Cares also implemented targeted infrastructure interventions with special emphasis on providing girls with access to education in Lahej, Abyan, Aden and Hajja in Yemen. In Mozambique, the Dubai Cares AMOR program aims to invest in actions and activities that will help in reducing barriers and build assets at several critical points in a girl's lifecycle, including increasing the number of primary schools that offer complete primary educational programs; enabling girls who have discontinued or have been excluded from education due to early marriage and early pregnancy to reincorporate into the formal system; and improving the quality, relevance and gender sensitivity of teaching and learning through extracurricular camps. In Philippines, Dubai Cares has launched a program that aims to secure a platform for girls to break through the hurdles of gender norms and achieve professional and personal success equivalent to their male counterparts in two of the country's poorest provinces, Masbate and Northern Samar.
"Unless there is a concentrated effort prioritized by all, a total of 500 million girls growing up today will never complete their schooling due to gender-related barriers. If things remain unchanged in Sub-Saharan Africa, where girls battle to exercise their right to education, it will take 100 years before all girls attend primary and lower secondary school. We must continue to bring effective solutions so that no girl is ever left behind." Al Gurg concluded.