The figures are staggering. 132 million girls worldwide are out of school. Two thirds of the 750 millions adults without basic literacy skills are women. And just 1% of the poorest girls in low-income countries will complete secondary school.
To change this unacceptable reality, UNESCO is launching Her education, our future, a new drive to accelerate action for girls’ and women’s education by leveraging political and financial commitments, as well as leadership for women and girls.
This new initiative will contribute to the 2019-2015 UNESCO Strategy for Gender Equality in and through Education and its three pillars aiming for better data to inform action for gender equality in and through education; better legal, policy and planning frameworks to advance rights; and better-quality learning opportunities to empower.
Her education, our future will be launched on 5 July 2019 at the G7 France-UNESCO International Conference Innovating for girls’ and women’s empowerment through education.
On the occasion, UNESCO will present the 2019 Gender Report “Building bridges for gender equality”, which provides the first ever detailed breakdowns of G7 members’ aid to gender equality in education. Beyond investments, the report calls for greater political and legislative commitment and highlights the importance of tackling negative gender norms and attitudes in society where teaching often remains a female profession with men in charge. In 28 mostly high-income countries, 70% of lower secondary school teachers are female, but women only account for 53% of head teachers. Beyond school, unequal opportunities persist with technical and vocational programmes that remain male bastions. Only one quarter of those enrolled in engineering and information and communications technology programmes are women.
As part of this new drive, UNESCO is also presenting a new Interactive Atlas of girls’ and women’s right to education. The Atlas is a monitoring and advocacy tool, aiming to enhance public knowledge of the status of national constitutions, legislation and regulations related to girls’ and women’s education rights, as well as to monitor progress.
This interactive tool currently uses 12 indicators to measure the status of national legal frameworks on girls’ and women’s right to education. Based on the information collected and feedback received from States, the Atlas will be further developed and updated. The initial phase includes information and data on 196 countries for the first three indicators and on 35 countries for the others, but the ambition is to expand to cover all States.
A collection of good practices showcasing UNESCO’s actions on the ground (link to Snapshots) will also be presented at the launch of the new initiative.