|© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2004/Sheikh|
|A young fan celebrates a scoring shot during the 2004 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.|
The Fair Play for Girls! Education for Every Child campaign promotes the right of equal access to education for girls and boys in South Asia. This part of the world faces many challenges – including poverty, gender discrimination, school fees – to realizing the Millennium Development Goal of gender parity in education by 2005 and the goal of education for all. An estimated 46 million children in South Asia are out of school, the majority of them girls.
Fair Play for Girls!, like Go Girls!, raises awareness, generates public support and mobilizes resources for girls’ education. It seeks to engage governments, businesses, community leaders and sporting organizations.
A new partnership with the Asian Cricket Council forms a major part of the campaign. Using the global power of sport and the enormous appeal of cricket in the region, the urgent message to educate all girls and boys will reach far and wide. It will also highlight the need to ensure every child’s right to play. Girls in South Asia are often denied the chance to play and participate in recreational activities with consequent adverse effects on their social inclusion.
A key Fair Play for Girls! event took place between July and August 2004 when Sri Lanka hosted the Asia Cup. Three of the 25 by 2005 Girls’ Education Campaign countries - Bangladesh, India and Pakistan - participated in this major regional tournament.