Today is The International Day of the Girl, a day to advocate for gender justice around the world. I get to do that every day at work. At an all-girls school, I feel that every day, I am helping to create a world where girls will lead the way and make the world a better place for women and girls and for everyone.
People sometimes ask me if we still need places for girls to learn separately from boys. The world is still set up to create advantage for men and disadvantage for women. There are gender inequities in the workplace, in health policies, and in institutional structures of all kinds. Girls schools give girls the tools they need to help bridge these inequities. It’s like taking the head start boys get just from being boys and giving girls the same head start.
Girls schools give girls the opportunity to learn in ways that work for them, to explore fields because they like them and not worry about whether it’s cool or not or “for girls”. Girls get to be leaders in the classroom and on the field, in student government and in extracurricular activities. They’re supported and encouraged in ways they just can’t be in co-ed environments.
I’ve been involved in girls education for almost 15 years. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been involved in. It’s still an important force in the world, especially in countries where girls are discouraged or even forbidden to continue their education for very long. When girls and women are given educational opportunities, the economy of their countries improves. The quality of life of not just the women and girls, but of everyone improves. The world needs educated women and girls, those who will lead, work hard, and help all of us solve the problems we face.