UNESCO and partners place girls’ and women’s education at the core of the Generation Equality Forum

This week, the international community gathers in Paris, France from 30 June to 2 July to strengthen and protect progress made on gender equality.

Governments, international and civil society organizations, the private sector, and youth are committing concrete actions to advance girls’ and women’s rights.

UNESCO at the Generation Equality Forum

As one of its three commitments, UNESCO is announcing its continued action in favor of girls’ education as part of Her education, our future. UNESCO is committing 30 million USD over the next five years to:

  • Reach 28 million learners in 80 countries with quality gender-transformative teaching and learning that promotes gender equality.
  • Hold countries to account on their commitments to gender equality in and through education in our role as the officially recognised source for cross-nationally comparative data on SDG 4 and through annual in-depth analyses of trends and strategies to address gender disparities in education.
  • Monitor the status of 195 countries’ legal frameworks on girls’ and women’s education and support national legal and policy reforms and sector plans to ensure girls’ and women’s right to education, and
  • Lead global coordination to support girls’ education in the wake of COVID-19 through UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship.

UNESCO and the Global Education Monitoring Report are also calling on countries to ensure all girls complete 12 years of safe and quality education. A new paper explores whether the promise of completing 12 years of education for girls by 2030 is on track and the evolution of girls’ and boys’ completion rates in primary and secondary education since 1995.

Education is a transversal lever

The Forum presents a particularly timely opportunity to advocate for gender equality in and through education, a cross-cutting theme throughout the six action coalitions.

UNESCO has been working with a consortium of partners for over a year to make sure that education is positioned as transversal throughout the work of the Forum.

Education has transformative effects that extend throughout a girl or a woman’s life, into their dreams and futures and further out into societies. With education, girls are more likely to be healthy, better paid in the workplace and more empowered to participate in social, economic, civic and political life.

The numbers speak for themselves. If all women had a secondary education, child deaths would be cut in half, saving 3 million lives. And one additional year of school can increase a woman’s earnings by up to 20%. Educating girls and women is a smart investment for our future.

More on the Generation Equality Forum

The Generation Equality Forum is a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France. The Forum kicked off in Mexico City in March launching a public call for accelerated action and implementation on gender equality.

The Forum responds to the fact that—despite the advances since Beijing in 1995 to take strategic, bold action on gender equality—progress and action has been slow. With women’s rights at risk of rolling back further as a result of the COVID-19 crisis—due to heightened poverty and risks of gender-based violence—the Forum is a rallying point to realize the human rights of all women and girls.

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