This week I was joined by over 500 youth advocates for education and education activists to launch the #UpForSchool petition in New York. World leaders including the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, have backed the petition. So, too have major faith-based organizations, including the World Evangelical Alliance and Sojourners -- both members of Global Faith Coalition on Education.
Forget about the biology of it for second (that was mom's job), my dad never let on that he thought there was a difference in when I could speak, how I could learn, what choices I should have or what I should be allowed to achieve and contribute with my life. My dad never questioned that I would grow up to be his equal, to be the equal of my brothers. To my dad, my value as an equal to boys and men was a basic truth.
While the world promised that by the end of next year every single child would be at school, the total figure for children who are being deprived not just of an education but of the oxygen of opportunity was 57 million last year.
Women like Marième surprise and inspire us all as they take new knowledge, share it with others and turn knowledge into action in their communities. The goal they have for their families resonates with all of us because it is a universal one -- to ensure that children are educated, safe, healthy and able to reach their full potential.