Max Bell and 60 million girls in 2022
McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy class is comprised of outstanding individuals from around the world. This year, for the second time, a group of Max Bell students has chosen 60 million girls to write up a public policy statement, part of their course work.
The question asked by the team is the following:
How can girls’ secondary education in rural areas in emerging economies contribute to strengthening resilience to climate change by 2030?
Climate change is an enormous challenge in a world threatened by increasingly violent and frequent climate events that put particularly vulnerable communities at risk. The Max Bell team’s research has shown that communities are better able to respond to climate-related disasters and the ensuing instabilities when girls and women are better educated. We know that girls’ education can be a powerful catalyst for reducing the impact of climate change.
Secondary education empowers girls and gives them the tools to advocate for climate change in their communities. However, girls continue to face significant barriers to accessing 12 years of quality education. The team wanted to understand the key challenges faced by girls, as well as how girls’ education can mitigate the effects of climate change.
To prepare their public policy statement, the students interviewed 60 million girls’ president, Wanda Bedard, as well as many of our partners and other stakeholders involved in girls’ education. They have studied some of the projects we funded in the past few years, specifically looking at rural communities and how gender-responsive education can contribute to a country’s climate change resilience.
The students researched mitigation and adaptation strategies in different countries, including India and Nigeria, two regions that have experienced severe climate shocks. They have explored best practices with a view to making policy recommendations to 60 million girls and other like-minded organizations to advance girl’s education as a climate mitigation mechanism.
We recently had the chance to listen to the students’ ideas when they spent an evening with some members of our Executive. We were very pleased to watch the team’s presentation of its report to the public on July 12th. To read the executive report, as well as the full report, click here.