International Women’s Day
On March 8th, every year Bridge celebrates International Women’s Day. It’s a day which provides the chance to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. But it also offers a focus on how much more still needs to be done in an unequal world where millions of women and girls are denied their basic rights, including the right to education.
The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge. At Bridge we raise our hand as we choose to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and help forge an inclusive world.
We are proud to stand behind a campaign to reach ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership in businesses. Women must have access to the same opportunities at an economic, sociological, health-care and educational level. It is about the same behaviours and needs being valued, acknowledged and respected equally, regardless of gender. Advancing gender equality is more important than ever, it is critical to move forward fast, to build stronger and build better. Gender equality must be understood and prioritised. It benefits economies, societies, and it is a fundamental human right.
According to UNESCO estimates, around the world, 132 million girls are out of school, including 34.3 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67.4 million of upper-secondary school age. Bridge focuses on bringing girls into the classroom, particularly in conflict and post-conflict areas, like northern Nigeria, south east Liberia and Garissa county in Kenya.
Women and girls constitute 50% of the world’s population.They possess one half of the world’s human potential. Both individuals and societies can only benefit from improved education outcomes for women and girls. A report by the Center for Global Development, ‘Girls Count’ found that providing one extra year of education to girls, increases their wages by 10-20%. This compares to 5% for boys. As girls underrepresented in education, any investment aimed exclusively at women therefore has the potential for greater dividends. For instance, a percentage point increase in spending on girls’ education boosts GDP by 0.3 percentage points and raises annual GDP growth rates by 0.2 percentage points (UNICEF).
We believe that females are powerful role models in the communities we serve. Women at Bridge are leaders and are inspiring the younger generation. We celebrate Srilakhsmi and all the female leaders at Bridge, who work tirelessly to support thousands of girls to become confident, empowered young women through life changing education.
This day is an opportunity to promote full and equal access to all opportunities for women and young girls. At Bridge, we believe that an excellent educational foundation sets our young girls on a path to future success.
Join us in celebrating Srilakhsmi and all the other women and girls, who are leading innovation and call for action to remove all barriers that hold them back.