Millions US dollars pledged for new Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment to action for girls education

The GRACE Association Pakistan joined today a broad coalition committed to getting more girls around the world to go to school and learn at higher levels of achievement than ever before.

The commitment to action, “Girls CHARGE”, was unveiled today at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. It is a CGI Commitment to Action by the Brookings Institution and 30 partner organizations.

Through “Girls CHARGE”, non-governmental organiza tions, foundations, governments and others are committing to work in the coming five years on fundamental girls’ education issues: helping girls attend and complete primary and secondary school, making schools safer, improving the quality of learning for girls, supporting their entry into higher education and employment, and helping local leaders to champion this work at the grassroots level. Supporting partners pledged several hundred million dollars collectively toward programs that will reach millions of girls across the globe.

In the past seven years, the GRACE Association in partnership with its supporters have helped approximately 7,000 girls enroll in and graduate from primary school in the remote northern regions of Pakistan. A recent study by GRACE found that maximum 80% of girls complete primary school. However, only 7% of girls from the survey villages complete secondary school. The rest drop out, despite poverty often because of a lack of secondary education opportunities in their villages, and many get married at an early age. By collaborating with international organizations on education sector plans that prioritize girls’ education in both primary and secondary school, the GRACE Association expects to increase the secondary completion rate of girls in the least developed rural villages in Pakistan from 7% to 50% between 2015 and 2018, translating into 17,000 more girls completing primary and secondary schools.

To do this, GRACE will work to expand access to quality learning opportunities for girls and children with disabilities at both the primary and secondary levels. GRACE Association will transform 30 existing exclusive primary schools for boys into inclusive primary schools including girls and children with disabilities, 10 new girl primary schools will be established in villages where so far no schooling opportunities for girls have been provided, and 10 existing girl/inclusive schools will be upgraded into secondary/higher secondary schools in collaborations with organizations interested to support this mutual cause by December 2018. GRACE Association will collect more and better education data, including data about girls’ access to quality education, their learning outcomes, and promising practices for scaling up learning interventions for girls. The availability of such data will significantly improve education planning and execution in the least developed rural villages in Pakistan .

The Clinton Global Initiative was established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton. It convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

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