11 January 2021, PARIS: The L’Oréal Fund for Women has pledged 270,000 to international nonprofit Aide et Action’s Education For Women Now movement which will launch in January 2021 and support 3 million marginalised women and girls, in vulnerable situations, in Africa, Asia and Europe to receive a quality education by 2025.

Education for Women Now, Aide et Action’s first international philanthropic campaign, is seeking to raise €20 million to support the access to quality education of 3 million girls and women, globally, by 2025. The campaign is set to launch on 17 January 2021 via a live digital event, led by leading figures in corporate world, media and women’s rights. 

L’Oréal is the first corporate sponsor to join the campaign with a commitment of €270,000 which will support four of Aide et Action’s projects in Madagascar, India, Sénégal and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). This support falls under the L’Oréal Fund For Women, a €50 million charitable endowment fund to support field organizations and local charities in their efforts to support women.

L’Oréal’s commitment to supporting highly vulnerable women, particularly those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic aligns with Aide et Action’s focus on using education as a long-term solution to reduce inequalities that are being exacerbated by the current pandemic.

The Covid-19 crisis spares no one, but it also exacerbates existing inequalities, with particularly devastating effects on women who were already struggling socially or economically, excluded from education or victims of abuses. It is essential that we take action to help the most vulnerable women and supporting access to education is instrumental in this fight against gender-based inequalities”, says Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of the L’Oréal Group.

Speaking on this issue, Education For Women Now Campaign Director Vanessa Perrette attests that investing in education is the first step in reducing inequalities. “The struggle of gender inequalities begins at the very doorstep of school and education. Women alone represent 63% of the world’s 750 million illiterate adults” she said.

Before the crisis, 132 million girls were excluded from school but now, according to UNESCO, the crisis threatens to exclude a further 11 million, depriving them of their right to education. Aide et Action ascertains that global pandemic has not just been a health emergency but also the greatest education emergency of our time.

As the crisis continues, girls and women stand to be disproportionately affected. However, the L’Oréal Fund for Women financial support will enable Aide et Action to begin recovery responses now through entrepreneurship opportunities and business training for young women in Lao PDR; addressing gender discriminiation in rural school systems in Senegal; supporting teen and young mothers in Madagascar; and offering education and psychosocial support to vulnerable and marginalised girls in India.

Education For Women Now is calling on philanthropists, foundations, corporate changemakers and individuals passionate about ensuring access to education to join the global movement and help to remove gender inequality barriers as we recover from Covid-19.

Christine Redmond

Copyright: Isabelle Merny/Aide et Action

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