From Where I Stand: “Gender equality and equitable quality education are interconnected. Achieving one is not possible without the other.”
Aysel Madra is a women’s rights activist and a Research Coordinator at Suna’nın Kızları, an organization aiming to build an ecosystem for girls to have better access to education. Madra has participated in the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) held in New York in July 2022, with the support of UN Women Türkiye.
“As Suna’nın Kızları, we aim to create an ecosystem for girls with limited or no access to education for their empowerment through quality education and high educational attainment. My participation at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) has made a significant contribution to my endeavors to create such an ecosystem and an equal future for all.
At the Forum, I joined sessions on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 “Quality Education” and SDG 5 “Gender Equality”, and had the opportunity to network with the civil society organizations (CSOs) working on a variety of subjects, from climate change to digitalization. It was inspirational to meet international experts and organizations from around the world that have the common goal to build a better future.
Through the sessions, I gained a new perspective on the significance of education. The discussions showed that equality in education is commonly defined as a necessity for economic development. Besides that, it is also an important means to improve children’s well-being and to discover and reach their full potential.
The importance of working in cooperation with other organizations for more impactful outcomes was also emphasized at the Forum. I have been pleased to see that this is an internationally recognized and encouraged modality, as our organization collaborates with over 30 CSOs for girls’ access to education.
Gender equality and equitable quality education are interconnected. Achieving one is not possible without the other. Organizations should join forces with the aim to collectively develop holistic intervention modalities and sustainable outcomes in these areas.
My participation in HLPF has been a stimulating experience which will significantly contribute to our work. I am looking forward to improving our interventions in the field with the new perspectives I have gained from HLPF.
Aysel Madra attended the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York on 5–15 July 2022. Her participation in the forum was supported by UN Women Türkiye through the Strong Civic Space for Gender Equality project funded by the European Union. The work of Madra relates to SDG 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, and also SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.