Dubai Cares event highlights girls' education
Dubai, March 6, 2012
Stakeholders from across the region shared best practices on promoting girls' education and ensuring it becomes a priority for key regional donors and aid agencies, at a Dubai Cares roundtable which concluded today.
The event titled ‘Bridging the Gulf to Girls’ Education’, helped strengthen the discourse on the importance of girls’ education as an important step in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Organised in partnership with international development charity, Plan International, the roundtable was attended by over 50 representatives from regional and international organisations, a statement from DC said.
The event was held in support of Plan International’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ initiative, a global advocacy campaign for girls’ rights, the statement said.
Based in the UAE and founded in 2007 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Cares has partnered with several leading international organisations in various countries including Yemen, Pakistan, Djibouti and Niger to ensure that girls go to school.
The organisation launched its Girls’ Education Campaign during Ramadan last year to raise awareness of the gender imbalances in primary education worldwide and raise funds to support Dubai Cares girls’ education programmes.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and chairperson of Dubai Cares, said: “Although most developing countries have made considerable progress in reducing the gender gap in school enrollment, significant gaps remain.”
“Estimates show that many countries will not meet the UN Millennium Development Goals related to education by 2015. We believe that girls’ education is a universal right and we are doing our part by ensuring that gender equality is a theme that cuts across all Dubai Cares primary education programmes,” he said.
“We convened stakeholders from across the region to share best practices on promoting girls’ education and ensuring girls’ education becomes a priority for key regional donors and aid agencies,” Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, said. “The roundtable is in line with our commitment to advocating for girls’ education by promoting dialogue and knowledge transfer and creating a common network for philanthropists.”
Currently, girls constitute 55 per cent of all out-of-school children around the world and although the gender gap with regard to primary education and enrollment has narrowed over the past few decades, sharp differences remain in some countries including the Arab world.
For every 100 boys out of school, there are 122 girls, globally. Whereas in the region, the gap is higher. For every 100 boys out of school in Yemen there are 270 girls, in Iraq 316 girls, and in India 426 girls (Unesco GMR, 2007).
Only 26 per cent of girls are literate in Pakistan. Out of the 163,000 primary schools in the country, merely 40,000 cater to girls. According to Unesco, primary school enrolment for girls stand at 60 per cent as compared to 84 per cent for boys.
In Egypt, the net enrollment and attendance rates are high for basic education, at 97 per cent and 84 per cent for boys, and 94 per cent and 82 per cent for girls. However, nearly 400,000 children in Egypt, mainly girls, are not enrolled in primary and preparatory schools.
Rosemary McCarney, CEO, Plan Canada, said: “Plan and Dubai Cares have come together to combine practice and good research on advancing girls’ education around the world. Plan’s commitment through our ‘Because I am a Girl’ initiative is manifested in our programming, our policy and advocacy work, and our research, is shared each year in our annual State of the World’s Girls reports.”
“Dubai Cares is already a leader and a thoughtful partner in girl’s education working with Plan to support primary education initiatives in Sierra Leone and South Sudan. These two days are part of Dubai Cares’ and Plan’s commitment to furthering the education focus on girls, by creating a ‘space’ for all of us to come together to learn by sharing lessons and practices,” she added. - TradeArabia News Service