The Puggle: July 2016 edition

Echidna Giving is delighted to launch our blog, a space where we plan to share what we are learning and engage with others around girls’ education and our philanthropy.

In this inaugural post, you’ll find updates on emerging issues and new findings related to girls’ education that we were exposed to in July. We have named our monthly updates The Puggle after the name for a baby echidna. We think it rolls off the tongue nicely and we’re proud of what we’ve birthed! Let us know in the comments section if you’ve come across other items that should be on our radar.

And now, for updates from July…

First Lady Michelle Obama continues advocating “Let Girls Learn” in thepopular mediaon the road, and, through USAID funding, in LiberiaMalawi, and Tanzania.

Across the pond, the UK made a £100m commitment to girls’ education, signaling continued commitment to the Girls’ Education Challenge Fund. Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister May appointed Priti Patel Secretary of State. There may be shifts under her leadership; Patel previously called for DFID to be replaced by a Department for International Trade and Development.

Global Partnership for Education infographic on Breaking down the barriers to girls’ education (click to view the original)

DFID’S announcement was coupled with related commitments, including one by the Global Partnership for Education to implement a new Gender Policy, Strategy and Action Plan. The strategy aims to ensure that countries have in place legal frameworks, policies, and plans that support gender equality in education.

In a recent article in Time, Jordan’s Queen Rania argues that data on women and girls is important because “data is more than numbers; at its heart, data is people—some of the most vulnerable women and girls in our world today…By counting them, we send them a message that they matter—and we make them a promise that, together, we’ll use the gender data in practical ways to help every refugee girl and woman realize a more peaceful, secure and hopeful future.” Perhaps someone slipped Queen Rania an advance copy of our Big Bets Chapter on reaching the SDGs by counting, consulting, and connecting women and girls?

Research out of the Africa Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank shows that the biggest driver of wage gaps between men and women is the types of careers that they choose. Women who enter traditionally male careers were often nudged there by a father or other male mentor. This video shows how Pratham has supported girls in roles that are more often filled by men.

Other research from the Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank suggests thatwhat’s good for girls has knock-on effects for their brothers. When boys are surrounded by empowered sisters, they, too, step it up and become more competitive!

Jimmy Carter wrote passionately about “Losing my religion for equality.” He declared that “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.” And Nick Kristof wrote passionately about how “When Women Win, Men Win, Too.”


Check back soon for the birth of our next Puggle!