Global Action Week 2011

Global Action Week 2011

Global Action Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness and call on governments around the world to keep their promises on the UN Millennium Development Goal of achieving Education for All. EI firmly believes that governments have the know-how and resources to ensure everyone has the chance to learn and all governments have a responsibility to make sure it happens.

This is why, every year, EI and other founding members of the Global Campaign for Education are joined by millions of students, teachers and activists to take part in simple, but powerful public actions. The reason for focusing on education is because it remains the key to enabling people to actively participate in shaping their lives and quality of outcomes.

Women and girls' education

This year, Global Action Week will take place from 2-8 May on the theme of Women and Girls' Education - an issue that still sees 1 in 4 women in the world unable to read or write - because we know that girls and women face particular obstacles that hinder them getting an education. They are vulnerable to violence on the way to school and in and around schools, early pregnancy, early marriage, poor health, HIV infection and gendered discrimination in the wider community and at schools. The theme for Global Action Week 2011 will address the problems that girls and women face in achieving an education, the benefits to the wider community when women are adequately educated and the mechanisms and solutions that can be used to empower female learners across the globe.

The Big Story

The action for this year's campaign will focus on The Big Story of women and girls' education. EI and GCE are collecting stories from and about the importance of women and girls' education, and adding them to the international narrative about this important issue. We'll use these stories to put collective pressure on governments to make sure they keep

Get involved

Global Action Week is a participatory event so if you want to be part of this exciting campaign you can register at

This is a story illustrating just one of the challenges many women and girls face when trying to get a quality education. It was written by Fhulufhelo Jessica Mamelasigidi, a grade 10 student in South Africa:

"A day in the life of a young South African girl is not an easy task at all! I wake up to a new day with what I hope and aspire to accomplish that day. I get out of bed and wake up my younger brothers and sisters and try to motivate them for the day ahead. Being the eldest girl in my family, it is my duty to prepare a healthy breakfast for all and make lunch for school for everybody, playing the role of 'care-giver'. I walk my younger brother and sister to crèche and only after that, when I am finally on my way to school, can I play the role of Jessica, 'the learner'. I sit in my seat striving to receive the education my parents were deprived of, knowing I am a girl and it is against my tradition for a female to attend school and be educated. However I sit in class holding my future in my heart, trying to overcome society and the prejudice that still exists against a young girl being educated. I try to show that I, as a young South African woman, am just as worthy to an education as the boy sitting next to me. My school is a good source of encouragement especially when it comes to its female learners. I go home to play the role of 'sister' Jessica, in the late afternoon. I clean the house, fetch my younger brother and sister from crèche and make sure I have started dinner before my mother gets home. I am always wanting to lash out at her and express what I really feel, wanting to tell her: "No! I do not want to become an employee at this age!" Why doesn't she just leave me to be educated and develop into the empowered women I want to be? Tired, energy-drained and fatigued, I go to bed and pray to thy Father in Heaven. I get into bed and close my eyes, I listen to the sound of drums beating in the distance and to the ancestors singing "Mosadi wannete o aga lelapa" (a real woman should create a family) and slowly I drift into a deep sleep..." their promises to women and girls to ensure Education for All.