27.09.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Forum on Gender Equality in education

UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) will host a High Level Policy Forum on “Gender equality in education: Looking beyond parity” on 3 and 4 October in Paris.

The Forum - just ahead of World Teachers’ Day, celebrated yearly on 5 October - will focus on gender inequality in classroom achievement and on women’s leadership role in education.

The Forum will be opened by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova; Cheryl Gregory Faye, Head of the Secretariat of the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI); and Khalil Mahshi, Director of IIEP. About 100 experts, ministers and education ministry representatives, gender and education experts, alongside representatives of non-governmental organizations and donors.

Drawing on case studies, the Forum, organized in collaboration with a range of partners*, will examine the root causes of inequality between girls’ and boys’ school performances. Participants will also consider the quality of education, progress achieved in reducing the gender gap, and the obstacles that stand in the way of women’s ability to achieve senior leadership positions in the public sector and more specifically in education.

While gender equality in education remains a crucial issue for many countries, women still account for two thirds of the world’s illiterate population (Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO, 2011). Despite the international community’s awareness of these issues, expressed notably in Education for All Goals of the World Education Forum (Dakar, 2000) and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the majority of out-of-school children are girls.

The outcome of debates and proposals developed during the Forum will be presented at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 October, on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day.


* United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI), the Conference of Education Ministers of French-speaking countries (Confemen); Africa Asia University Dialogue for Educational Development (A-A Dialgoue); Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE); Aga Khan Foundation; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); The Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ); UNGEI and UNESCO’s Division for Gender Equality.


                 Journalists wishing to assist require accreditation.

           Media contact : Maxime Bouquet, IIPE. Tel : +33 (0) 1 45 03 77 66.

                          Email : m.bouquet(at)iiep.unesco.org

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