The Journey of a Girl: New report launches today.

Businesses need to focus on investing in girls’ education at early and primary years, a new report reveals. Today, as the Global Business Coalition for Education marks the International Day of the Girl Child, ‘The Journey of a Girl’ shows how businesses must invest at every stage of a girls’ education journey to overcome barriers faced by girls.

The new report, commissioned by the Global Business Coalition for Education, surveyed thirty-two companies investing in girls’ education. It found that while there is a strong focus on empowering girls in secondary years, less than 10% of their education budgets on early childhood development.

While many corporates focus on developing skills in secondary school, the report argues that investment in early and primary years would be transformative. In preschool, every $1 invested yields $7 to $17 in higher future wages.

Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, said

“We know all too well that the economic empowerment of a woman does not start when she is an adult. It starts when she is a girl. Education is critical for her success at work and across her family life, and there is a compelling case for the private sector to consider how best to engage and make a difference.”

By mapping out the barriers that face girls and their education, from birth to adulthood, the report also identifies other areas where companies can support and invest, and puts forward key recommendations to maximise impact.

This year, over 15 million girls have been displaced from their homes due to conflict and emergencies, leaving them with a heightened risk of being forced into early marriage, and child labour. With less than 2% of humanitarian aid going to education, businesses can play a key role in large scale change by using their leadership, influence and assets. In 2015, the business community championed the creation of a humanitarian fund for education in emergencies. They must continue to support such initiatives, to ensure the world’s most vulnerable girls do not become a lost generation.

Please go here to read the full report.

This report was made possible with the support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.