International Women’s Day is an opportunity to highlight the impactful work of women who are leading the way in creating inclusive and equitable education systems while empowering the next generation of girls.

“Education is justice. Giving everybody an opportunity to go to school is justice. It tells every child that they belong, that they own their destiny, that they can shape it,” says Angeline Murimirwa, our 2020 Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate and Chief Executive Officer of CAMFED.

Research shows that access to quality higher education improves developmental outcomes for individuals and economies. A report by the Yidan Prize Foundation and the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital found that prioritizing policies supporting female education improves individual women’s lives while shaping a country’s socio-economic and demographic development.

While we are starting to see an increase in women enrolling in tertiary education, there is still much more to be done. “According to data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, just 9% of women in sub-Saharan Africa and 27% in South Asia are currently in some form of post-secondary school education,” says Mabel Woo, our Deputy Secretary-General.

Today’s generation of students will greatly influence issues like climate change, jobs and technology. Unlocking their potential is essential for a better future. It is more important than ever to ensure young girls and women have every educational opportunity and are empowered to contribute to these critical issues.

In this article for World Economic Forum, Mabel Woo highlights some of the education change makers who are paving a brighter future for girls and young women, and shaping the female leaders of today and tomorrow.

Read the full article here.

Photo credit: CAMFED/Eliza Powell