18.10.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova highlights the importance of education for women and girls at the Women’s Forum in Deauville

© UNESCO/Gulser Corat - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society Global Meeting 2010, in Deauville, France on 16 October 2010. From L to R: Ms Niti Bhan, founder and owner of Emerging Futures Lab, Ms Orit Gadiesh, Chair, Bain & Co, Ms Irina Bokova, Ms Alison Smale, Executive Editor, International Herald Tribune.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova participated in the Closing Plenary session of the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society Global Meeting 2010, which took place in Deauville, France on 16 October 2010.

The session brought together the best ideas from the Forum's brainstorming sessions that occurred on 14-15 October on the subjects of politics, business, health and the environment and women’s leadership.
The session was moderated by Hilary Bowker and the panelists included, in addition to the Director-General who was the only UN official participating in this 6th edition of Women's Forum, Alison Smale, Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune, Orit Gadiesh, Chair of Bain and Co., and Niti Bhan, Founder and Owner of Emerging Futures Lab.

In her comments, the Director-General noted that different kinds and levels of education for women and girls were crucial to making women's voices heard in all spheres, including the economy and society. She noted also that advances in education could not be taken for granted, especially as the evidence for drop-out rates and transition to secondary level for girls has shown negative trends.

Commenting on the best idea of moving beyond the financial bottom-line and creating a standard global corporate well-being metric, the Director-General informed the audience about the UNIFEM and the UN Global Compact "Women's Empowerment Principles" launched in March 2010 and noted the substantive work in this area already coming out of the UN system.

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