Partners and Networks
The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) is a partnership of organizations dedicated to promoting girls’ education and to reducing the gender gap in education. It was launched in 2000 by the UN Secretary-General to help governments fulfil their responsibilities towards ensuring the right to education and gender equality for all children, girls and boys alike. As a member of UNGEI’s global advisory committee (GAC), UNESCO participates actively in technical group meetings, often with representatives from the various regional offices, since UNGEI co-operation has proven most effective at the regional and national levels. UNESCO annually hosts an UNGEI meeting immediately before each EFA Working Group Meeting, to make sure gender-related concerns are included as EFA priorities.
United Nations Adolescent Girls Task Force
Convened in 2007, this interagency programming framework specifically addresses the most marginalized and disadvantaged adolescent girls. In March 2010, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, signed the UN Joint Statement on Accelerating Efforts to Advance the Rights of Adolescent Girls in New York, during the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. She pledged to intensify efforts to fulfil the human rights of adolescent girls, including that of access to quality education and complete schooling. The other signatories are the Executive Heads of UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, ILO and WHO.
Within the framework of the United Nations Literacy Decade, UNESCO is seeking support to scale up action on girls’ and women’s literacy in South and West Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States. Key actions will include strengthened advocacy and support for developing and implementing gender-responsive literacy and lifelong learning programmes that also include dissemination of knowledge on HIV and AIDS.
UNESCO is working with the African Union within the framework of the Second Decade of Education in Africa (2006-2015) to ensure that gender is mainstreamed into policies. This work has started with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and higher education, in particular concerning girls’ and women’s access to in science education and development of a gender-sensitive pedagogy.
UNESCO supported the creation of this centre under the auspices of the African Union to promote the education of women and girls in Africa.
Global Education First Initiative
The Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), led by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, aims to accelerate progress towards the Education for All goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals. It gathers a broad spectrum of world leaders and advocates who all aspire to use the transformative power of education to build a better future for all. The Initiative's three priorities are to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship. Gender is a central part of this five year global advocacy effort.
Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education - ‘Better Life, Better Future’
UNESCO launched the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education in 2011 guided by the conviction that educating girls and women can break the cycle of poverty and foster greater social justice. The Partnership seeks to increase learning opportunities for adolescent girls and women and to find solutions to some of the biggest challenges and obstacles to their education. Particular emphasis is given to expanding and improving the quality of education for girls and women at the secondary level and in the area of literacy, to take successful initiatives to scale, to replicate good practice and to engage new actors.