Gender Balance Through Non-Formal Education On International Women's Day #AwardUSA #WORLDREADY



Young People are Making it Happen

Chicago, IL. On March 8th, International Women’s Day, the largest international youth achievement program, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, known locally as The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA, is calling attention to the significant role non-formal education is playing in achieving the gender balance that is so important for success in the future. 

International Women’s Day comes after the worldwide launch of the Award’s #WORLDREADY campaign. More than 10,000 young people from 150+ countries and territories were asked[1] to give their perspective on today’s world – and 75 per cent of young women surveyed believe that being ready for the world takes more than classroom learning.

All over the world Award participants are excelling outside of their classroom and in the United States we see young women thinking about their role in the future. In a worldwide survey[2] conducted by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at the launch of #WorldReady, all of the young American women who took part feel confident standing up for what they believe in and confident speaking out against something they believe is wrong.

“The Award has helped me connect with people across the world. For my Gold Residential Project, I ventured out on my own from Ohio to Cyprus where I mentored other Award Holders.  They came from England, Palestine, South Africa, Egypt, India, Bulgaria, Lebanon, and Kuwait.

Regardless of where we came from, we all seemingly forgot about our differences, and genuinely enjoyed being friends with one another. In particular, the students I helped doing their Adventurous Journey persevered through cultural, language, gender, and personality differences in order to achieve their goals.

I don’t think I could taken this crazy adventure alone, if it wasn’t for The Award challenging me to do so!” Rosie W.

Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, CEO of Award USA, says, “Bringing the Award to the US has allowed hundreds of young American women to challenge themselves in new ways and discover they are capable of so much more than they ever realized by getting involved in the Award. #WORLDREADY aims to celebrate these inspirational young people and the ways in which they are contributing to life in the United States. We hope that every young American has an opportunity to get involved and by doing so, we are all that much closer to gender balance.”

These bright and empowered young women are completing the Award and by so doing are shaping the future of the United States.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global, non-formal education framework which challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, learn about teamwork and leadership through adventurous journey and volunteer within their community. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA encourages young women to step outside their comfort zones and in doing so, develop universal skills – such as resilience, confidence and adaptability – to help ensure that not only are they ready for the world but that the world is a better place for it.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, and even gender-balanced sports coverage.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is proud that more and more American young people are #WORLDREADY and will continue to do their part to achieve the balance that International Women’s Day is calling for. Award USA CEO Elizabeth Higgins-Beard  available to speak about the remarkable accomplishments of young women in the United States through their work with the Award.

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Media Contact: Tracy Jensen; Marketing and Communications, Frizz Marketing,  (630) 426-9712


Notes for Editors

[1] Survey of 7,681 13-25 year olds, through U-Report, September 2018. U-Report is a free social messaging tool which enables 13-25 year olds globally to speak out on development issues, support child rights and help to improve their communities.

[2] Survey of 3,487 16-25 year olds and 1,825 adults (25+), July – September 2018. In partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award family around the world.

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