Your #PledgeForParity this International Women’s Day

Your #PledgeForParity this International Women’s Day

We should all be outraged. Women in Cambodia can’t wait for an education. Elloise Brady lays out Sunrise Cambodia’s #PledgeForParity on International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is an annual day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women world wide.

The theme for 2016 is Pledge For Parity – it’s an optimistic one given that the World Economic Forum predicts that if global warming doesn’t get us first, we’re shooting for global gender parity by the year 2133. That’s a whopping 117 years away, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t circle the date in my calendar just yet. Why on earth would it take so long? Gender parity is so far off that the melting ice-caps are blocking it from view.

The Cambodian government gives the entire working population of Cambodia an official public holiday to celebrate International Women’s Day. I wonder if the girls would be happy to take the day off if they knew it would put them another day behind in their 117 year journey towards parity with the boys who learn beside them every day?

I don’t think so.

These girls are fighters. They are living in a country that is growing and evolving all the time and begging for their involvement, and they won’t let futuristic dates predicted from offices on the other side of the world stop them from thriving every single day.

So tomorrow, make a pledge for these girls: to give them the skills they need to reach out and grab gender parity and all that comes with it, with their own two hands. 

Pledge to Educate a Woman


For every dollar a women earns in the developing world, 90 cents flows to the family. For every dollar a man earns, 40 cents flows to the family. – Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia

Sticking a girl in school is the best economic decision a developing country can make. With an education she will make money and pay it on to her family, community, and country. She will make educating her children a top priority, and keep them healthier as well. The best part is that an educated girl will grow up to be an amazing woman who knows her rights, and knows her potential.

Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia said it best when he said, “Even in poverty, men find ways to waste money.”

According to Costello, for every dollar a women earns in the developing world, 90 cents flows to the family. For every dollar a man earns, 40 cents makes it to the family. The United Nations Development Program backs this up, proving that educated women earn more and are the key driving force behind eradicating poverty – and it’s pretty obvious why.

When a young woman walks in to school, her country takes a huge step on their journey out of poverty.

But right now, many girls in Cambodia are struggling to make it to the school gates.  When a girl is kept home, her, her family, and her country suffers. An uneducated woman is more likely to have a larger family, and experience a higher infant and child mortality rate. Their country misses out on 50% of the workforce, and their economy suffers for it.

And it get’s worse on a personal level.

One in five Cambodian women suffer from sexual and domestic violence and girls with no education are three times more likely to marry as a child. These women can’t wait until 2133 for gender parity. And they won’t.

What Will You Pledge Tomorrow?

Tomorrow, make a pledge.

Pledge to say “screw you” to the World Economic Forum’s next century predictions for gender parity, and make it happen yourself.  True global gender parity can’t be achieved if we leave one single woman behind, and 117 years is too long for girls and women in Cambodia to wait.

Make a pledge today to send a girl through the school gates, and keep her there.

  • I pledge $15 to buy a school uniform
  • I pledge $50 to buy 75 notebooks
  • I pledge $100 to buy a first aid kit for a safe school
  • I pledge $500 to pay for a full set of English teaching resources
  • I pledge $1000 to buy school uniforms for 50 children

Pledge to stand for all women and educate our girls.

Educate girls on International Womens Day
Photography by Tony Lewis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *