Diplomacy and girls' education
SOAS students in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy contributed to a 2018 Wilton Park report on using diplomacy to mobilise momentum for girls’ education. Wilton Park is an executive agency of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The report is based on the outcomes and recommendations from a conference at Wilton Park to discuss on how diplomacy can be used to mobilise support for girls’ education in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development.
Kamilia Amdouni, Lindsay Bownik, Musa Bwanali and Alexandra MacAulay Abdelwahab, postgraduate students with backgrounds in technology, development work and journalism, represented SOAS at the conference, where they took on the roles of rapporteurs during roundtable discussions.
Among the key issues that emerged from discussions, participants heard the need to consider the wider social context that impacts a girl’s access to education: rural marginalisation; sanitary facilities at school; gender discrimination; female teaching; affordability; counselling and support for girls and their families; championing role models and mentoring; as well as the fundamental need to engage all stakeholders in order to address challenges that girls face in the pursuit of quality education. Highlights also included the necessary coordination among the various stakeholders and to enforce monitoring that considers both qualitative and quantitative factors and long-term commitments.