Team Marie Claire And A Bunch Of Celebs Have Shared Some Embarrassing School Photos To Support Stand #UpForSchool

There are 31 million girls in the world currently denied an education. Share your old school pictures to support #UpForSchool

This International Women’s Day, Sarah Brown is leading a landmark campaign to support stand #UpForSchool – a drive to get the 31 million girls currently denied an education into school. Given that two-thirds of them will never enroll in education, and over 500 million girls will drop out before completing a basic education, with even worse odds for those growing up in conflict zones, the push has never been more important.

Stand #UpForSchool is encouraging everyone to share their old shool photos for #TBT Thowback Thursday. Sarah Brown, Bonnie Wright, Pixie Lott and the Marie Claire team have already done it (see below for the cringe-inducing evidence) and now it’s your turn.

At the same time, sign the petition (that has already clocked up 3 million signatures) to support #UpForSchool and help eliminate the barriers that continue to keep girls out of education, and in turn, save lives. Illiteracy among women contributes to greater numbers of preventable child deaths. A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five than a child born to an illiterate mother. Education has a great impact on sexual and reproductive health outcomes for girls and women and in many countries, like sub-Saharan Africa, the birth rate among girls with no education is over four times higher than those with secondary education.

Education enables girls and women to overcome oppressive social limitations such as exploitative work and child marriage, and teaches them how to better claim other social and economic rights. Plus, it’s pretty good for the economy too. An educated female population increases a country’s productivity, yet some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. Put it this way, if all girls in Kenya completed primary education, their additional output would equal 20% of Kenya’s GDP. If all adolescent girls completed secondary education and delayed pregnancy until their twenties, this would add $3.4 billion to the Kenyan economy per year. And that’s serious change.

How can we help? Firstly, sign the petition. With the aim to become the biggest in history, it will be delivered to world leaders in September to ensure they keep a promise they made in 2000 to get every girl and boy into school and learning by the end of 2015.

Secondly, spread the word and share your old school photos for #TBT on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #UpForSchool and let’s make a difference.

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Features director, Tracy Ramsden

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Senior beauty editor, Anita Bhagwandas

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