International Rescue Committee (IRC)

#EducateOurGirls: Overcoming the obstacles and risks that prevent girls from going to school

protecting girls
Girls’ schooling is critical: Educated girls become smart, strong women committed to leading their communities toward stability. Photos: IRC
"I can't stop thinking about those schoolgirls who were taken from their beds in their dormitory in Chibok, the fear and horror they are feeling and the three weeks that have passed since they were abducted.  I think about the slow response from their government, and I think about how the women of Nigeria took to the streets in order to even get a response.  I think about the anguish their families are experiencing and the actions they are taking to spark global awareness by organizing rallies in Abuja, Nigeria, and in New York City.

And my mind goes to how dangerous the simple act of going to school can be for girls around the world.  At the International Rescue Committee we are well-acquainted with the obstacles and risks girls face in simply trying to exercise basic rights like getting an education."

- Heidi Lehmann, director of the IRC’s Women’s Protection and Empowerment Unit, writing about the abduction of 284 school girls by Boko Haram militants in April. In a recent blog post, she asks whether this horrific event will galvanize action to address the systemic injustice girls face in accessing education: #BringBackOurGirls: Responding to the clarion call (May 7).

How the IRC Helps

Working in more than 40 countries and 22 U.S. citites, the IRC helps girls gain knowledge, skills and confidence.

We know that when crisis strikes, women and girls are the first to be harmed, the first to be marginalized, the first to be forgotten.

The IRC provides tools, training, and resources to protect women and girls from violence and enable them to move from surviving to thriving, in the U.S. and around the world.

Learn more about the IRC's work to protect and empower women and girls.

Give a Rescue Gift 

Afghan girl standing at blackboard, reading to class
Donate a Year of School: When crisis forces families to make difficult decisions about school, often it is young girls who stay home, denied a chance at a better life. $56 can supply the tuition, books and other supplies a girl needs to attend school for a year. Dedicate the gift to your friend or loved one with a beautiful card or eCard.  

Get Updates 

Follow our special Storify feature for updates on #BringBackOurGirls, the IRC's emergency response assisting women and girls who have fled violence and the threat of abduction in Nigeria, and our work to protect and empower women and girls around the world: 

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