A blog by Rina Dupriet, SI UN Representative, following her attendance at the UNESCO panel discussion which introduced the ‘UNESCO Strategy for Gender Equality in and Through Education 2019-2025′.
The UNESCO Assistant Director for Education said : “It is only through Education that people of all ages can acquire the knowledge and skills to adapt to the changes that are affecting our societies; demographic, climatic and technological, to name but a few”.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world. The 2030 Agenda envisions a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity and of equal opportunity, permitting the full realisation of human potential, a world where all countries adopt approaches that ensure that girls and boys, women and men, not only gain access to and complete education cycles, but also are equally empowered in and through education.
- 15 million girls and 10 million boys will never set foot in a classroom,
- Refugee girls are half as likely as their male counterparts to be in secondary school,
- Two-thirds of the 750 million illiterate adults are women,
- 152 million children, mostly boys are trapped in child labour,
- 650 million girls are married before 18,
- 246 million children are subjected to gender-based violence in and around schools every year,
- 328 million boys and 290 million girls are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading at the end of lower secondary education,
- Nearly 1 billion girls and women lack the skills to succeed in rapidly changing job market,
- Women make up only 35 % of higher education students in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.
It is necessary to have better data to inform action and build the best strategic plan. It is necessary to organise a better legal policy, and planning frameworks to advance rights.
In conclusion, everyone acknowledged that Education is a powerful driver for human capital, economic growth, social cohesion, cultural transformation, environmental sustainability and peaceful coexistence.
It is the reason why the Director General for Education proposed that each Member State, and each NGO, implement the UNESCO strategy and commit to better coordination across UNESCO”.