Girls’ Education Challenge

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Launched in 2012, the UK government Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) is an ambitious twelve-year initiative aiming to provide the world’s most marginalised girls with quality education.

It hopes to deliver lasting change – ensuring that girls not only access education but thrive in school and are empowered to secure a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Now in its second phase (2017-2025) the GEC is the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education and, through a range of partners, is supporting up to 41 projects in 17 countries. Leave No Girl Behind is one of the GEC’s campaigns. Launched in July 2016, it supports interventions providing literacy, numeracy and skills relevant for life and work to highly marginalised, adolescent girls who have never attended or have already dropped out of school.

The GEC projects are hoping to make a significant contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on access to quality education and its associated targets.

The gathering of accurate data and monitoring is essential to the integrity and success of the project and a key factor in the Department for International Development’s on-going funding of UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM).

As the go-to-source for SDG4 data, the UIS will gather data on the world’s first ever global indicator on learning (whether children are reaching minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics at key stages of school). As data becomes available this information will be broken down by sex, geography, wealth, disability, indigenous peoples and conflict affected areas. The GEM provides a detailed and high profile annual report on key aspects of education as well as on-going monitoring and advice.


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“Getting girls into school, and then into good employment, allows them to play a transformational role lifting their communities out of poverty, growing their economies and shaping the future of their countries.”

The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development (2017 – 2019)


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