Global March

Global Action Week 2003

Every girl has a right to education

The Global Action Week for girls’ education was held from the 6th – 13th April in which millions of people from all over the world took part in events to draw the attention of the media, politicians and the public to the importance of closing the gender gap in education.

The World’s Biggest Lesson was held on the 9th April and has proved a resounding success with more than 1.3 million people taking part in over one hundred countries. The sheer numbers that have given their support for girls’ education through participating in the world’s largest lesson has been overwhelming – far surpassing any expectations.

In many countries the lesson was taught by girls to heads of state, or other prominent figures, ensuring that children had the opportunity to speak out about their concerns on girls’ education to the policy makers in their country. Many other exciting events happened throughout the world during the week of action, visit our country updates section to find out more.


Through the events held during Global Action Week we are hopeful that governments will be forced to take positive action to ensure that every little girl has access to a quality and free basic education.

But the work is only just beginning. The pressure has to be maintained on governments. You can help by downloading the Global March Report Card on girls’ education and sending it to your education minister. Or help make the appeal from the Global Campaign for Education to the G8 countries stronger by signing the petition at: The petition will be delivered to the G8 countries when they meet again this June.

We must translate the huge support for Global Action Week into action and ensure that the lesson on girls’ education is learnt by leaders from around the world. As Kofi Annan stated in his message of support for the Global Action Week: “Let this be not only the world’s biggest ever lesson, but a lesson that the world will never forget.”
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Why Girls’ Education?

Educating girls and women has been shown time and again to lead directly to better family health, economic growth, and lower rates of child mortality and malnutrition. Yet 65 million girls are out of school and 550 million women – nearly one in every five – are illiterate.

Lack of access to a free and meaningful education for many girls throughout the world leaves them with little option but to enter the workplace. Find out more about the links between the girl child labourers and girls’ education.

By denying women and girls their right to an education, we deny them the means to build a better life. At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, world leaders agreed to get as many girls as boys into school by 2005. This pledge is echoed in the Dakar Framework for Action on Education for All. With only two years to go they are well short of their target.

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