Recognizing the challenges girls face [Letter]

To lend our support to girls' education globally, Roland Park Country School salutes the United Nations' International Day of the Girl, which recognizes girls' rights and the unique challenges girls face, especially in education.

This week also marks six months since 273 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped, and they have not yet been returned to their families. And on Friday, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzai, 17, the youngest person ever to win the prize.

Malala is the Pakistani teenager and education activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban on a school bus two years ago for speaking up for girls' education. The shooting did not silence her voice, and she has become a strong advocate for the right of girls everywhere to go to school.

According to the U.N. 66 million girls are out of school globally. Yet it is well known that when girls are educated, it is possible to break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Removing barriers to girls' education — such as early and forced marriage, gender violence and discrimination and lack of access to health care — means not only a better life for girls, but also a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all.

Jean Waller Brune, Baltimore

The writer is head of school at the Roland Park Country School.

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

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