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Every year on #InternationalWomensDay the world celebrates the accomplishments of women while shining a light on the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality. Today I am joining @plancanada to shine a light on the setback to girls’ education and how it’s deeply impacting the future of girls and the next generation of women leaders. No one’s future should be decided for them, but for girls around the world, the pandemic is doing just that. From job losses and disrupted education to increased gender-based violence, the setbacks girls and women are facing have reached a critical point. • 11.2 million girls and young women may drop out or not have access to school in 2021 due to the pandemic’s economic impact alone. That amounts to over 30,000 a day and one girl every 3 seconds. Before the pandemic, roughly 132 million girls around the world were still not in school. (UNESCO, 2020) • COVID-19 pandemic will have caused a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030. (UNFPA, 2020) Education is a fundamental human right. It provides knowledge, opportunity and confidence. We must invest in girls’ education to protect their rights and decision-making power so they can be leaders today and in the future. Plan International Canada works with children and young people – especially young women and girls – so that they can realize their rights by continuing to strengthen their knowledge, skills and agency. To learn more please go to the link in bio. I took this photo at a school in Ghana while traveling with Plan International Canada four years ago. I witnessed their inspiring programs in action, and treasure those memories. #stopthesetback #genderequality #girlseducation