Valerie Amos has made a powerful call for the education of girls in Africa and around the globe to be a priority during her recent visit to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic and cultural hub.
During a gala event in the city for SOAS alumni and dignitaries, Baroness Amos told the audience that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals would never be reached until girls received the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts.
“Educating girls at primary level through to university level has a positive impact on major challenges such as the number of mothers and children who die in childbirth. Women and girls have an essential role to play in helping to secure economic growth and development.”
Following Baroness Amos’s address a panel discussion entitled “Education of the girl child in Africa: problems and prospects” featured Aishah Ahmad, Chair of the Executive Council of Women in Management and Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Founder of Murtala Muhammed Foundation, a human rights activist specialising in women and girls’ initiatives.
SOAS has one of the most diverse student bodies of any university in the UK with students from over 130 countries, approximately 65% of them women.
SOAS is also ranked 6th in world (54.3%) for highest percentage of international students.