One of the biggest obstacles to getting an education around the world is money, as schools in many countries charge fees to attend school. The newly released Incheon Declaration promises to make education more accessible by committing to 12 years of free, publicly funded, primary and secondary education for both girls and boys. This commitment is a huge victory for education and gender equality activists worldwide, and it comes as the result of much hard work and vocal discussions from non-profit organizations, including the Malala Fund, about access to education.
As recently as last week, the declaration did not include the word “free,” meaning that attending school would still be an obstacle for many children, especially girls, who cannot afford fees or who are discriminated against because of their gender. With the inclusion of this one, simple word, obtaining an education and a brighter future has become a more attainable goal for millions of children. We’ll be watching closely to see if these world leaders can keep up with their promises. In the meantime, click over to the Malala Fund’s infographic showing the positive ripple effects if all girls were able to have twelve years of education.
Lead image via Shutterstock