Paris: A Costa Rican project empowering girls from vulnerable backgrounds with digital skills and another from Spain that provides the foundation for gender equality in and through education will be awarded this year’s UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education in a ceremony, at UNESCO on 11 October, International Day of the Girl Child.
The Sulá Batsú association (Costa Rica) is rewarded for its project, La Voz de las Chicas del Centro de América (Voices of Central American Girls). Implemented in schools, the project provides adolescent girls from underprivileged backgrounds with extracurricular training in digital literacy, technology, and prototyping through coaching and mutual learning. Working with municipalities and the trainees’ families, the project helps give a voice to the learners and benefits entire communities. Originally developed in Costa Rica, the project has since been extended through much of the region.
The Department of Education of the Government of Navarre (Spain) is recognized for its project, SKOLAE: Berdin Bidean Creciendo en Igualdad (SKOLAE: Growing in equality), which addresses gender stereotypes in education and beyond with a holistic school programme that empowers learners to choose their course in life. It promotes an environment free of gender conditioning and enables learners to identify inequalities, fight them and exercise their individual right to equality regardless of culture, religion, sexual orientation or identity. In 2017, the project was first piloted in 16 schools, later extended to 116 establishments and is now scheduled to cover all schools in the province by 2021.
An international jury selected the laureates from nominations submitted by UNESCO Member States and partner non-governmental organizations.
Each laureate will be awarded US$50,000 during the official prize-giving ceremony, which will coincide with the 207th session of UNESCO’s Executive Board.
It will include a special event, “Girls’ Education: a force for gender equality and lasting change,” organized by UNESCO, the independent development and humanitarian organization Plan International, and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will take place following the award ceremony. It will reaffirm the role of education to empower girls to become a force for good, in line with Her education, our future, UNESCO’s new drive to accelerate action for girls’ and women’s education by improving data collection, legislation and policies.
Established in 2015 by the Executive Board of UNESCO and funded by the Government of People’s Republic of China, the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education contributes directly to the achievement of SDGs 4 and 5 concerning respectively education and gender equality. Last year’s laureates were the Women’s Centre of Jamaica and the Misr El-Kheir Foundation from Egypt.