» UNESCO backs action plan and funding boost to ensure girls’ education
11.07.2016 - Education Sector

UNESCO backs action plan and funding boost to ensure girls’ education

© UNESCO/Victor M. Camacho V.

UNESCO joined governments, donors and key members of the education community to sign an Action Plan to ensure disadvantaged girls and women are not left behind in fulfilling their education potential.

The plan, launched at the Girls’ Education Forum 2016 in London on July 7, 2016, was backed by £100 million funding from the UK government and USD 17 million from the Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The forum, organized by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in partnership with Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE, aimed to push forward the Global Education Agenda commitment to ensure all children receive quality primary and secondary education by 2030.

Currently, 63 million girls worldwide are out of school while many of those who are in school struggle to learn the basics and end up dropping out altogether. The event included sessions on subjects ranging from teaching disabled girls to harnessing technology in girls’ education, raising self-esteem and protecting girls affected by conflict and emergencies.

Disadvantaged girls struggle to stay in school

Speaking at the forum, UNESCO Director of Education 2030 Support and Coordination, Jordan Naidoo, highlighted the UNESCO eAtlas of Gender Inequalities in Education which shows gender gaps from primary to tertiary education using the latest data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The eAtlas shows the educational pathways of girls and boys in more than 200 countries and territories.  

‘This sort of tool is essential for making sure that we can identify the very specific barriers which girls face in accessing education,’ he said, ‘but it is not enough to just identify the problem. Through our “Better Life, Better Future” programme, we have really focused our attention on expanding and improving the quality of education for girls and women so that they too get the chances they deserve in life.’

Breaking the cycle of poverty

The programme was launched in 2011 based on the belief that educating girls and women can break the cycle of poverty and foster greater social justice. 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.

Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO and linked to its efforts to promote the right to education and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) and SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) through the Education 2030 Framework for Action.




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