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Achieving Women's Equality Must Remain the Precedence

Following the global celebration of “Human Rights Day,” and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ 70th anniversary, governments worldwide must ensure the success of Sustainable Development Goals four and five.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–With its mission to advance systems thinking and the Triple Bottom Line, and having observed “Human Rights Day” celebrations in San Francisco, New York, and Marrakesh, the California Green Academy (“CalGreen”) believes that, despite the incredible progress and continued importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Declaration”), the Declaration’s vision will only be realized fully, when women’s equality and education are all government’s primary objective.

“Whether it is the issue of increasing leadership and political participation, expanding economic and social empowerment, or ending violence and increasing peace and security, the world must remain laser-focused on the achievement of women and girl’s human rights, as proclaimed in the Declaration, and in other major international conventions for equal rights. CalGreen is confident such equality is key to the worldwide success of all 17 Global Goals,” stated Greg Justice, Chief Sustainability Officer.

According to the World Bank's Global Partnership for Education (“GPE”), "an estimated 131 million girls worldwide remain out of school and face multiple barriers to education. These include distance to school, cultural norms and practices, school-related gender-based violence and early or forced marriage." GPE - working with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Malala Fund - estimated that, in 2014 alone, the loss of twelve years of universal education (primary and secondary) for the estimated 131 million girls costs the global economy around US $30 trillion (p.50). Additionally, referencing research conducted with similar methodology (Wodon and de la Brière), it is estimated, “the potential gains in human capital wealth from achieving gender equality in earnings between men and women were estimated at US $160 trillion.” The report concludes with what CalGreen believes to be blatantly obvious, and a directive not to be ignored: “educating girls is not only the right thing to do, it also makes economic and strategic sense for countries to fulfill their development potential” (GPE).

A PDF of this release can be downloaded here.

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