Education & Justice

“Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest return investment available in the developing world.”Lawrence Summers, Former Chief Economist, World Bank

Invest in GirlsAs an organization, CHANGE HER WORLD believes that education and advocacy are top priorities. Not only do girls and women in developing nations deserve the right to access education but they also need advocates who will stand with them in seeing this desire become a reality.

As Canadians, there is much we can do. But firstly, we need to hear their stories and understand more clearly the issues involved.

Never Owners, Always Labourers

“Women make up 51% of the world’s population and produce 60-80% of the world’s agricultural products – yet they own less than 5% of the world’s titled land”

– Rural Development Institute Plan Canada : Because I am a Girl -2009

Gender Equality

The pursuit of equal rights for women through international law has been a long process.

Enshrined in Article 2 of the “1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, was the principle that everyone is entitled to rights regardless of race, colour or sex.

Ratification by countries does not ensure progress. Loopholes are found to circumvent contentious issues.

CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) was created in 1979 and was adopted by the UN Security Council.

Gender Inequality in 3rd World CountriesThe four UN agencies (listed below), who were engaged in gender issues, merged together in July 2010:
  1. UN office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues
  2. UN Development Fund for Women
  3. UN Division for the Advancement of Women
  4. UN International Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.

They became known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the empowerment of women. As of February 24, 2011, this body is now known as UN Women headed by former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

As a result, it is the hope that improved coherence and a higher profile for rights of girls and women around the world will take place.

Education is ultimately more important than laws in empowering women to overcome barriers to equal rights.

Learn More:

Why Educate a Girl?Gender as an IssueStoriesBecome an AdvocateRecommended ReadingsResources

For a more recent exploration of this topic, please see

This is an independent publication by UNDP authored by Sarah Douglas titled Gender Equality and Justice programming: Equitable Access to Justice for women

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