October 11 is observed as the International Day of the Girl Child with the aim to direct the world’s attention towards the predicaments faced by young girls around the globe. This day, without a shadow of doubt holds immense significance for the Pakistani girl-child. The fact that Pakistan has the second highest number of out-of-school girls in the world is reason enough for us to observe the International Day of the Girl Child. According to conservative estimates, 22.5 million children are currently out of school in Pakistan; of which close to 13 million (above 50 percent) are girls. While the non-realization of a child’s fundamental right to education is a travesty itself, in Pakistan’s context, one must also understand the economic value of educating our girls. According to a study published by the World Bank, if 1 percent more women had a secondary education, economic growth would increase by 0.3 percent. In the same realm, on October 9th, 2018 Malala Fund launched its education campaign called “Full Force” by publishing a new report called Full Force: why the world works better when girls go to school. The report presents the economic case for girls’ education and calls on leaders attending the upcoming G20 meeting to launch a specific initiative to ensure all girls can succeed in the modern labour force, across the world. The report reveals that if all girls completed secondary school, they could add up to $30 trillion to the global economy. Educating girls also reduces poverty, improves public health and cuts the risk of war by half in developing countries! Study after study has revealed that giving every girl at least 12 years of education would have a world-changing effect on our global economies Study after study has revealed that giving every girl at least 12 years of education would have a world-changing effect on our global economies. Girls with secondary education become women who are more likely to participate on equal terms in the labour force, lead healthier and more productive lives and be decision-makers at home and in their communities. In addition, teaching the girls digital skills could reduce the global gender pay gap by 21 percent. But beneath these headlines, there is little consensus and even less action around the necessary response. True, that solutions don’t materialize overnight and getting all the girls in school requires curriculum reform, increased funding, better data management and of course, societal change. However, going by the facts and figures provided in Malala Fund’s report, it is very clear that we are in desperate need for a national policy framework that is only possible through the combined efforts of both the federal and the provincial governments. Since, education is the collective responsibility of the federal and provincial governments, it is imperative to bring all the stakeholders on the same page and ensure that they each commit to raising the spending on education to 6 percent of the GDP (with a one percent annual increase). The government must also ensure the allocation of a minimum of 20 percent of the provincial budgets for education. While the spending is increased on education, the governments at both the levels must ensure efficient utilization of allocated resources, focusing especially on the development budget. There is also an immediate need to address gender gaps in access to education by building new girls’ secondary and higher secondary schools, ensuring the enforcement of the Right to Education laws and extending the constitutional guarantee of free and quality education to 12 years (K-12). To achieve these milestones, an All Parties Conference on education is certainly the need of the hour. Unless, policymakers and parliamentarians from around the country sit together to address Pakistan’s education emergency, there is little hope that the 13 million out of school girls will ever realize their fundamental right to education. The writer is a development practitioner, currently working with Pakistan Youth Change Advocates (PYCA) to ensure universal secondary education in the country Published in Daily Times, October 12th 2018.