Mar 25th, 2018, 07:22 PM

Education and a Home for All

By Fernanda Sapiña Pérez
Syrian refugee girls in classroom. — Photo: DFID/Flickr
Fighting for a change.

This article was originally written for the GIMUN (Geneva International Model United Nations) 2018 edition.

With the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, across the globe, human rights are present in the minds of many. Education and equality have been issues that have been continuously fought for since the creation of the declaration, and it is still something that continues to be sought after. Not only is an education for girls an issue of utmost importance, but equality is as well given the beginning of the Rohingya Muslim diaspora in 2017. Although these are issues that have been rampant in our society for decades, it seems like it continues to be an uphill battle with attempts of support from many organizations, but progress is blooming little by little.

Education activist Malala Yousafza has been fighting for girl’s education. Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban soldier for speaking up about the lack of education for girls in Pakistan. Even though the world is in a state of progression, both technological and cultural, it seems that as a society we are still hitting an impasse when it comes to providing education for all.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”- Malala Yousafza

Malala has since then been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her attempts at creating a system that allows unprivileged girls to have access to education by founding the Malala Fund. Through all her efforts, she has captivated the world’s elite attention; the CEO of Apple has partnered up with the fund in order to provide education for more 100,000 girls. “Apple has not specified how much money the company will invest, but said the new partnership will expand Malala Fund’s work to India and Latin America. Apple plans to contribute money and technology, assisting with curriculum and policy research,” reports The Guardian. Although it may seem like a small number considering the number of girls that have little to no access to education, it is a big step that is beginning to create ripples in the international community.

“The humanitarian situation ... is catastrophic.” - UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Even though there seems to be an uprising of support to provide education for girls in marginalized communities, there are some that remain forgotten, like the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Currently, they face massive immigration and diaspora due to the loss of their homes and ethnic cleansing by the state of Myanmar. “Grievances that have been left to fester for decades have now escalated beyond Myanmar's borders, destabilizing the region,” reports CNN of what UN Secretary-General António Guterres commented to UN reporters, highlighting the urgency of the situation.

The situation has continued escalating as Aung San Suu Kyi has deliberately and continuously avoided coming to the defense of the persecuted minority, “We are a young and fragile country facing many problems, but we have to cope with them all,” she said. “We cannot just concentrate on the few,” said San Suu Kyi at a speech in Naypyidaw, Myanmar according to CNN. Negotiations are being attempted now with the state of Bangladesh in order to facilitate a safe return to Myanmar, but difficulty from both sides prevent the continuity of the talks to solve the crisis.

The tackling of these issues will be a great undertaking by all of the nations involved with the anniversary of the Human Rights declaration looming, but it seems to be that more pressure needs to be applied and change must catalyze at an even quicker rate if the world seeks to reach a consensus on these humanitarian crises.