…the most recent figures published by UNESCO in their Global Monitoring Report show that 61 million children don’t receive an education.
A further 200 million remain illiterate despite attending school. Equality of opportunity remains a hollow dream.
The petition in support of Malala Yousafzai has now attracted almost 1 million signatures worldwide. As Gordon Brown points out in a piece on the BBC news website, time is running out on meeting the Millenium Development Goals. Progress has, to say the least, stuttered, with many millions of children still working instead of learning, many millions of girls still being forced out of the classroom and into loveless marriages:
We have around 40 months to meet our deadline for universal education. We have one chance left to deliver in these three years. If the tragic story of Malala tells us anything, it is that we must do all we can to achieve it.
The Taliban thought they were halting a one-girl campaign for the education of girls; instead they created the impetus for worldwide movement that should strengthen the resolve of those world leaders who meet at the joint summit on this critical issue of our time between international agencies and governments in April of next year.
They need to do it for Malala and the many millions of girls and boys around the word who are still being denied a basic education. There is simply no more important international campaign than this one.