Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, believes that closing the gender gap in education can help countries better adapt to the climate crisis.
On Monday, Nakate addressed world leaders and key stakeholders gathered in New York, United States of America, for the United Nations Transforming Education Summit.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the meeting.
Nakate argued that “as the climate crisis deepens, young girls face an increasing workload to care for their families.”
“They also face an increase in domestic violence and child marriage. All of this severely limits girls’ ability to access and complete their education,” she said.
According to Unicef, at least 400 million children live in cyclone-prone areas and 820 million children are particularly vulnerable to heat waves.
More than 186 million children attend primary schools without access to electricity, according to Nakate, and while all children need help to access education, the climate crisis disproportionately affects girls.
“Closing the gender gap in education can help countries better adapt to the climate crisis – and reduce the pace and impacts of climate change,” she said.
She urged key stakeholders to help girls stay in school, thereby helping countries tackle the climate crisis. »
“We need to give all children access to an education – and we need to help them stay in school. Their future depends on it. And it turns out ours does too.”
In his address, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said unequal education is rapidly dividing the world and urged leaders to increase spending per student.
Guterres also urged countries to seek out and support solutions to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and dream throughout their lives.
The Transforming Education Summit is held in response to a global education crisis involving equity and inclusion, quality and relevance.
The summit offers a unique opportunity to elevate education to the top of the global political agenda and mobilize action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to recover pandemic-related learning losses and sow the seeds seeds for transforming education in a rapidly changing world.