One of the main topics of the numerous actions worldwide was that education for girls creates perspectives and increases their chances of a self-determined life. There are still countries in the world where girls and women are denied access to education. However, a society that discriminates against girls and women in this way also takes the opportunity to develop itself further. The consequences are obvious: our world is becoming more and more complicated, the challenges greater. This requires the efforts of all members of a community if creative and constructive solutions are to be found. Excluding the female half from this process will in the long run lead to stagnation and backwardness of the respective society.
But of course it is also a personal disaster for girls and women if they cannot use and develop their talents and interests as boys and men can. Education also means the chance to participate in social life and counteracts exclusion.
This is why it is particularly important to us within the framework of the IB development partnerships to offer education especially to girls in developing countries. In my opinion, Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer, Managing Director of UN Refugee Aid, has put it in a nutshell: "Every girl who goes to school learns for a better future. Therefore, no girl should be excluded from education, because she means protection and perspective in equal measure". Self-confident girls and women can better defend themselves against assaulted men and free themselves from traditional roles. Women who have a perspective in their own country, who can live more self-determinedly than their mothers, do not see their future in a foreign country and therefore do not have to risk a dangerous and uncertain escape.
One of the IB's goals is to promote equal rights and equal opportunities. For us, it goes without saying that we strive to achieve these goals not only at home but also abroad. The IB's international cooperation is geared towards this goal. International action days such as World Girls' Day are therefore good opportunities to sharpen our focus and better identify the greatest challenges.