Advancing girls’ secondary education: obstacles and opportunities
Irina Bokova, Director-General UNESCO, will open a high-level panel discussion on girls’ secondary education organized by UNESCO and the International Federation of University Women on 28 February at the UN, New York.
The panel will address the pressing need for a rights-based approach to girls’ secondary education. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA; Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the UN; Gill Greer, Director-General, International Planned Parenthood Federation and Ya Marie Jah, Student and advocate, Sierra Leone are panellists.
Around 40 million adolescent girls in the world today are out of school. Early marriage and teen pregnancy force many of them out of the education system. Others leave because of poor quality education which lacks relevance. Yet there is compelling evidence of the links between girls’ secondary education and improved health and other outcomes. The UN has created a special task force to address this vulnerable, yet strategic, population. The panel plans to ask what it is doing to provide a second chance at education to marginalized adolescents.
UNESCO participates in the UN Interagency Task Force on Adolescent Girls in order to support a coordinated UN response in ensuring that programmes of cooperation with governments and civil society raise awareness on the situation of marginalized adolescent girls, and prescribes practical action to fulfil their rights.