In April, the Together Women Rise Advocacy Chapter With RESULTS was busy making time-sensitive appropriations requests for FY22. Now we are asking our members of Congress (MOC’s) to sign on to letters in support of global education and nutrition within the foreign affairs budget. This year we are requesting large increases for global nutrition — $300 million, which is twice what was allocated last year; and $150 million for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which is an increase of $25 million over last year.
For nearly two decades, the GPE has been delivering funds and supporting solutions to build strong and resilient education systems to enable more children in low-income countries, especially girls, get the education they need. This is the only public-private partnership exclusively focused on achieving quality education, with a commitment to ensuring that all girls and boys are able to learn equally, early, and well. It does this by bringing together low-income countries, donors, international organizations, civil society, including youth and teacher organizations, the private sector, and private foundations and providing the technical and financial support during the planning cycle that promotes quality education sector plans.
Gender equality is at the heart of GPE’s work. Since its inception, partner countries have seen 160 million more children in school; more than half of them are girls. According to the UN, 743 million girls have stopped attending school since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Unfortunately, it is estimated that between 11 and 20 million of those girls will not return to school. There may also be an additional 13 million child marriages between 2020 and 2030. And millions of those girls who have been out of school will be unable to return, either by choice or legal restraint, due to a pregnancy from gender-based violence or child marriage. GPE is working to address these barriers for girls.
GPE follows six basic tenets to achieve its goals:
- We leave no one behind.
- We transform education systems.
- We put gender equality at the heart of education systems.
- We support teacher training and better allocation of teachers within countries.
- Our partnership approach delivers greater impact.
- We increase and improve financing for education.
Now is the time to ensure equitable access to quality education for all girls. In late July, the UK and Kenyan governments will co-host a replenishment conference to support GPE’s $5 billion strategy for 2021-2025. This strategy will provide quality education for 175 million more children in over 90 countries. We, as advocates, must ensure that the U.S. government supports this bold goal by committing no less than $1 billion over five years, starting with $150 million for fiscal year 2022.
If you would like to learn more about the GPE, check out some of these resources:
- GPE website
- GPE Case for Investment for the 2021-25 replenishment
- Interview with Alice Albright (CEO of GPE) on the importance of sending girls to school.
- UN Chief on World Education Day 2021
And please let me know if you would like to discuss how advocacy works and how you could be a part it. Contact Leslye Heilig at email@example.com. The next Advocacy Chapter webinars will be on Tuesday, May 18 at 7 pm ET and on Wednesday, May 19 at 9 pm ET. Everyone is welcome! Sign up here and we will send you the webinar links.