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Maryam and Nivaal's field diary from the G7 Finance and Development Ministers Meetings

Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Whistler, Canada

Article first published on the MalalaFund Blog | June 6th, 2018

As our plane landed in British Columbia, we caught a glimpse of the magnificent Rockies peeking through the clouds. We had an important day ahead of us — and knew right away that it would be a special one.

Last week, we joined Malala Fund in Whistler at the G7 Finance and Development Ministers Meetings, where we interviewed leaders days before they made important decisions about girls’ futures.

We began our advocacy for girls’ education at 8 years old — but we never imagined that one day we would sit with influential leaders and discuss how they’re supporting girls around the world.

We first attended different sessions and listened to leaders speak about solutions to the many challenges our world faces today. What stood out to us is that most of them acknowledged the need to include more women in the economy. They talked about how a country’s economic growth is dependent on girls’ education, getting more women involved in the workforce and providing women with equal professional opportunities as men.

And yet 130 million girls are out of school today and leaders aren’t investing enough money to support them. That’s why Malala Fund is asking countries to commit $1.3 billion to girls’ education at this year’s G7 Summit.

A lot is at stake for girls and we wanted to make sure world leaders understood that and did something about it.

During the second half of our day, we interviewed IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. Their message was clear: the whole world benefits when girls are more educated and countries like Canada play a crucial role in achieving that goal. So in our interview with Minister Morneau, we asked how Canada can do more for girls. We were happy to hear that he hopes to contribute more of Canada’s foreign aid towards girls’ education.

Now we look forward to seeing leaders follow through with their words at the G7 Summit this week. Our time in Whistler was incredible. It helped us realize how important our work is. We were not only taking action from a distance, but we could have a direct impact by speaking with the leaders ourselves. Watch our vlog from our time in Whistler below:



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