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The Dakar Appeal
Appeal for a Women's Alliance
to promote the right of Women to Education
The Dakar Appeal

by Viviane Wade, Wife of the President of Senegal

Our country, Senegal, is proud to host this great gathering on education in the year 2000.

For both the President and myself, education has been at the heart of our struggle in recent years to build a more just, more democratic and more caring society. For education is the key to human, social, political and economic development.

The World Education Forum offers us today a unique opportunity to put our commitment to education to the test. It is time to act.

We must do everything to ensure that the framework for action to be adopted by the international community here does not remain a dead letter. The success of the Dakar Conference on Education for All will depend on how it is followed up.

I therefore appeal to all women, whether or not they are in power, to mobilize political and economic decision-makers and arouse public opinion in our various countries so as to ensure that the Dakar framework for action is effectively followed up in concrete terms.

I shall write to all the Wives of Heads of State and to the First Ladies throughout the world to ask them to join with me in creating a women's alliance to promote the right of women to education. We shall act as spokeswomen for the hundreds of millions of women throughout the world who are deprived of education. We shall insist that the right to education, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, be a right for women too and that it be given expression all over the world in literacy training for adult women, who are the pillar of the family and the guarantors of education for peace.

Dakar, 27 April 2000