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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Lead a global campaign for the education of women and girls

Last updated: 09:11am 24 July 2019

We will continue to lead a global campaign for the education of women and girls, which is the key to progress in so many countries.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.38

Our verdict

In 2012, the UK launched the Girls’ Education Challenge, a 12-year commitment to provide education to the world’s most marginalised girls. In 2017, the Conservative Party manifesto pledged to continue to lead a global campaign for the education of women and girls.  To assess the status of this policy, we’re looking at funds allocated and projects undertaken with the UK in a leadership role.

In 2018, the second phase of the Girls’ Education Challenge began, with the UK announcing an additional £500 million of funding. With this increase, according to the Foreign Secretary, “up to 1.5 million marginalised girls are now being supported to receive a quality education”.

In April 2018, the former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson launched the Platform for Girls’ Education which gathers “a group of 12 influential figures from across the Commonwealth to drive forward the political momentum on girls’ education”. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt hosted the first meeting of the Platform for Girls’ Education in September 2018. The Platform is expected to release a report on its achievements and progress before 2020.

Also, through its Policy Lab, the UK is sharing educational expertise with Commonwealth countries to support education for women and girls.

The government has increased its financial contribution to the Girl’s Education Challenge, launched new projects in partnership with Commonwealth countries and played a leading role in driving projects forwards, including chairing international meetings.  The manifesto promises leadership of a “global” campaign, and most government efforts have focused only on Commonwealth countries, but the size and population of the Commonwealth (2.4 billion people) means these efforts do have a global impact. We therefore consider this policy ‘done’.

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