Girls' Education in Pakistan
In October 2012, 14 year old school girl Malala Yousafzai was shot and seriously injured by Taliban militants in north-west Pakistan. Malala was targeted for campaigning for girls' right to education.
"Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right."
When the Taliban took control of the Swat region, where Malala lives, girls had been banned from attending school. Instead of accepting this situation, Malala wrote a blog for the BBC, speaking out against this injustice.
Fortunately, after medical treatment in Pakistan and the UK, Malala is recovering well. But the attack on Malala has brought the dire situation for children, and in particular girls, into the spotlight.
Over 5.1 million primary school-aged children are out of school in Pakistan – the third highest number of out-of-school children in the world - and 63% of them are girls.
While the Pakistan government has legislated for education for all, education remains drastically under-funded at 2.4% of GDP, a decrease from 2.7% in the preceding year – despite a government commitment of 4%. At this rate of funding and progress, there is no way Pakistan will achieve its commitment to education for all.
GCE is working with the Pakistan Coalition for Education, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, and many of the GCE members to demand action now for children in Pakistan, and for particular action to be taken for girls.
You can email President Zardari directly by signing your name to this letter – by showing the Head of State that people all over the world believe that the right to education should be realised for every child.
I Am Malala Petition
You can also sign the UN Education Envoy petition – over 1 million people have already taken part in this campaign and you can join them here (www.educationenvoy.org
Pakistan Coalition for Education
Find out more about the work of the Pakistan Coalition for Education here (www.saqe.org