OTTAWA - On March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD), the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) joins Education International (EI) affiliates in urging governments around the world to make gender equality central to achieving education goals. According to the 2013 United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report, girls account for 61% of the 123 million young people aged 15-24 around the world who lack basic reading and writing skills.
“Quality education is not only a public good and human right, it is a powerful force which enables girls and women to lift themselves -- and everyone around them -- out of poverty,” explains CTF President Dianne Woloschuk. “However, in most developing countries, girls’ right to education is limited because of a lack of political commitment, the under-financing of education, the impact of inequality and systematic barriers.”
The many barriers that stand in the way of girls receiving quality education may be unimaginable to Canadians but to girls living in the developing world, it’s a daily reality. These include:
- Early and forced marriage
- Poor health and nutrition
- Family care and domestic housework
- Early pregnancy
- Violence in schools
- The long distance to school
- The cost of education
- A lack of girls’ washrooms
“Governments need to move beyond promises and take concrete measures to remove these barriers and to ensure quality education is equally accessible to all: girls and boys, majority and minority groups, rich and poor,” adds Woloschuk. “This is one of the messages CTF will be sending next week at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York as member of the global trade union delegation. This year’s theme examines the implementation of the MDGs for women and girls,” concludes Woloschuk.
Follow the UNCSW trade union blog: http://www.world-psi.org/uncsw.
Follow EI’s “United for Quality Education” campaign: http://www.unite4education.org/
The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is an alliance of nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary educators from 17 organizations (15 Members, one Affiliate Member and one Associate Member) across Canada. From 1962 to the present, CTF has worked in partnership with National Teacher Organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America to improve access to free quality education for all. Follow CTF on Twitter: @CanTeachersFed and @EnseigneCanada. CTF is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education International (EI).
CTF President Dianne Woloschuk
Francine Filion, Director of Communications (cell or text) 613-899-4247 or [email protected]