The Puggle: March 2017 edition

Welcome to the March installment of The Puggle, your source for the emerging issues and findings related to girls’ education that the Echidna Giving team has come across this month!

March 8th marked International Women’s Day. This month we were reminded that under some circumstances, women have made major advances. For instance, this evidence suggests that post-conflict settings may be open to radical shifts in women’s leadership. But elsewhere, we still see deep gender divides. As just one recent example, a new study on how resources get divided within households finds that women and children are more undernourished than men not only in the poorest households, but in richer households as well. So this month we are featuring stories we read about the people who are helping make gender equality a reality, evidence we found about the policies that might advance girls’ education, and a set of practical resources.

  Fearless Girl on Wall Street by Anthony Quintano  on Flickr .  Fearless Girl on Wall Street by Anthony Quintano on Flickr.

THE PEOPLE. Not surprisingly, often the people doing the most to advance the cause of women are women themselves. Here is a nice tribute to African feminists and here is a podcast chronicling some of their work. Melinda Gates writes about The Power Of Women Coming Together, and this story brings that idea to life as it describes how a loose network of women–dubbed the “Hellraisers of Nairobi”–support other women to get attention from local politicians and police.

In the context of education, this article from the New York Times reminds us that principals are people that “can make a real difference…‘Principals create the environment. They create a culture of accountability. They create a sense of community.’”

In the context of girls’ education, Christina Kwauk and Amanda Braga highlight the influencers, groundbreakers, thought leaders, and champions shaping girls’ education globally. They end with a question: “how can we better coordinate girls’ education advocacy, research, and implementation so that the girls can get a quality education and achieve their full potential in life and livelihood?” Another important question: how can we guard against unintended consequences? Prisoners of Boko Haram, Then Prisoners of Fame, reminded us that successful advocacy can have dark sides.

THE POLICIES. The Economist wrote about Why governments should introduce gender budgeting. “At its simplest, gender budgeting sets out to quantify how policies affect women and men differently. That seemingly trivial step converts exhortation about treating women fairly into the coin of government: costs and benefits, and investments and returns.”

Education Commission commissioners Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi make the case for greater investments in girls’ education. The One Campaign also calls for more funding and acknowledges that “investing in education must lead to better learning,” by “implement[ing] a package of reforms that will break every barrier, invest in every teacher, monitor every outcome, and connect every classroom.”

Finally, GPE and UNGEI put out their Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans.


May we all have the same confidence of the Fearless Girl on Wall Street as we seek to move this agenda ahead!