UNESCO global partnership for girls’ and women’s education enters its second year

The Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development, joined UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on Friday 25 May to celebrate the achievements of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education as it entered its second year.

The event was held as a panel discussion, and also included the Minister for Primary and Civic education in Chad, Faïchou Etienne; Bunker Roy from the Barefoot College and representatives of the Varkey GEMS Foundation, Procter and Gamble, Microsoft and the Packard Foundation. Members of UNESCO’s High-level Panel on Girls’ and Women’s Education for Empowerment and Gender Equality took part, as well as beneficiaries of the projects.

Progress of the partnership was reviewed, in particular three projects in Africa supported by private partners. The girls’ and women’s literacy project in Senegal, funded by Procter and Gamble has inaugurated 160 classrooms in seven regions and trained 100 literacy trainers who are teaching 3,000 women. The Packard Foundation is working with 28 schools in Ethiopia and Tanzania to keep girls in school. In Kenya and Lesotho, the Varkey GEMS Foundation works with UNESCO on gender-sensitive teacher training to encourage more girls to attend school and learn science and mathematics.

Participants discussed ways to scale up action, further strengthen the Partnership and keep the momentum initiated by its launch 12 months ago.

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