Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Baroness Liz Sugg last week as the new Special Envoy for Girls’ Education.
The new role is intended to help accelerate progress towards getting more girls in the world’s poorest countries into schools with quality teaching. Sugg will also be tasked with setting out a clear and ambitious strategy for what the UK Government will achieve in girls’ education over the next five years.
Special Envoy & Baroness Liz Sugg said: “I’m honoured to take on the role of the UK’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education. I truly believe girls’ education is the key to solving so many of the world’s problems.
“Today, around 130 million girls worldwide are being denied the right to an education, particularly in the world’s poorest counties. Girls are kept out of school due to poverty, the threat of violence and because often, girls are simply not valued as much as boys. This tragic waste of potential must end.
”Giving girls the chance to learn is not only the right thing to do – it’s one of the smartest investments we can make with UK aid.Baroness Liz SuggSpecial Envoy for Girls' Education
“Giving girls the chance to learn is not only the right thing to do – it’s one of the smartest investments we can make with UK aid and I will stand up for the right of every girl in the world to benefit from 12 years of quality education.”
The appointment was announced at a reception to celebrate International Women’s Day last week at 10 Downing Street, to which leading female figures from business, science, sport and other sectors were invited.
The PM talked about the women who had inspired him and the government’s commitment to action on the gender pay gap and girls’ education. He also took part in a panel discussion with founder of STEMettes Anne-Marie Imafidon, Grazia editor Hattie Brett and Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, where they discussed career aspirations, the importance of inspiring the next generation of women into STEM fields, and the challenges facing women in the workplace today.
The event was attended by fifty female Year 9 students are preparing to make their GCSE choices.
Speaking at the reception, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am immensely proud to be celebrating International Women’s Day with inspiring women who are showing pupils attending our panel here today that there are no limits to what can be achieved.
“There is one single thing that we can all do to end injustice and change the prospects of the world for the better and that is to campaign, every one of us, for girls to receive 12 years of quality education. This is the best way to help economies grow, tackle poverty, prevent early marriage and empower women.
“It is the great Swiss army knife to some of our biggest challenges, and that is why I am delighted to announce the appointment of Liz Sugg as the new Special Envoy for Girls’ Education.
“Let’s make sure that every girl in the world gets the same investment, same care, same love, same attention in her education as every boy in the world. It is the single most important utensil at the disposal of humanity to change all our lives for the better.”
The Prime Minister used his first speech on the steps of Downing Street to reinforce the pledge he made as Foreign Secretary, which was to ensure that every girl receives 12 years of quality education no matter where she is born.
As part of her role, Baroness Sugg will be working closely with international partners to encourage greater global ambition, coordination and investment in girls’ education.
The UK’s flagship Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) is the world’s largest global programme dedicated to girls’ education. The current phase is helping to get up to 1.5 million vulnerable girls in school and learning in 17 of the world’s poorest countries by 2025.