A Global Partnership for Girls’
and Women’s Education will be launched at a high level forum to be held at
UNESCO Headquarters on Thursday 26 May.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will welcome participants to
the event, followed by opening remarks from United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The
keynote speech for the Forum will be made by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh,
Prime Minister of Mali Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, the Aga Khan,
founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network Foundation, and
representatives of several corporate giants participating in the
partnership including Nokia, Procter and Gamble, GEMS Education, Microsoft and
the Packard Foundation, will also participate.
Globally, some 39 million girls of lower secondary age are
currently not enrolled in either primary or secondary education, while two
thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate adults are women. Only about one
third of countries have achieved gender parity at secondary level.
‘Better Life, Better Future’ will seek
collaborative and innovative solutions to the most fundamental obstacles and
challenges to education for women and adolescent girls. A number of projects
are already underway in several countries.