In September 2000, 192 United Nations member states announced 8 major world goals to be completed by the year 2015 — the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs). You may remember how world leaders descended on NYC and the United Nations this past September to have critical discussions on reaching these goals — She’s the First was there (read Kaitlin Davis’ reports here). I first heard of the Millennium Development Goals during my sophomore year in college and the concept has thrilled me ever since.
The idea is that between all 192 member states, some awesome international organizations, and the general citizens of the world, we can make some major changes to the world by 2015.
The 8 goals are as follows:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality & empower women
4. Reduce child mortality rate
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, & other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Create a global partnership for development
Last weekend I had the opportunity to tour the United Nations headquarters in NYC during my Fall Break. Most of the building is rather plain, but one bright display caught my attention. In bold, hot pink letters, “Education Counts” was printed across the wall. Naturally, I had to check it out — and if you’re in the NYC area you definitely should too! She’s the First field trip, anyone?
The display outlined the 8 MDGs in detail with fantastic graphics and blatantly pointed out the solution to reaching every single goal: educating girls. As you walk around the walls of this display, the United Nations outlines the benefits of educating young girls. Some of the information we’ve heard before, like the fact that girls statistically receive higher returns from a secondary school education than boys do.
There were also some stats I had not heard, like the fact that all low-income children in the world could be sent to school for $16 billion in aid a year, which is about half what all Americans and Europeans spend on ice cream annually.
The only bit of information this display is lacking is a resource for inspired viewers to help in completing these goals through educating girls. I bet you can tell where I’m going with this…She’s the First.
If you didn’t believe us before, you now have the United Nations as a reference. Educate a girl, and the rest will fall into place.