Director-General joins UN agency heads to promote the rights of adolescent girls
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, has signed the UN Joint Statement on Accelerating Efforts to Advance the Rights of Adolescent Girls. The other signatories are the Executive Heads of UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, ILO and WHO.
The statement was launched on 3 March 2010 in New York, during the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
This Commission is currently conducting a fifteen-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action.
The Statement expresses a common vision among the signatories to intensify their agencies’ support to advancing policies and programmes that empower the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls, particularly those aged 10 to 14 years old. It is as part of a joint commitment to promote gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women.
The Dakar Framework for Action (2000) aims to ensure gender equality in education. However, worldwide, girls still face a distinctive set of barriers to learning. These range from early marriage, which prevents them from progressing beyond primary school, to lack of inclusive curricula that take gender into consideration and gender-based violence in and around school. Teachers’ attitudes and expectations can be influenced by gender stereotypes, as can the textbooks used in class. Adolescent girls are still more likely than boys to be out of school.
Gender equality is one of UNESCO’s two ‘global priorities’.