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UNGEI panel discusses the importance of girls' education at the Women Deliver Conference

The Women Deliver global conference on maternal mortality reduction, jointly organized by a coalition of partners including the UNGEI Global Advisory Committee members DFID, Norad, Sida, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank, featured a panel on girls' education organized by UNGEI. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam moderated the panel, which examined issues around the education and empowerment of girls and young women in developing countries using gender equality and life-cycle approaches.

The panel argued that investing in women (which was the conference's slogan) necessarily starts with investing in girls, and touched on the issues that are at the heart of girls' education: early childhood development; cultural, institutional and economic barriers; gender-based and sexual violence in and around schools; access to education for the most vulnerable girls; education in emergencies and post-crisis transition; quality; and partnerships for girls’ education.

Panelists included two members of the UNGEI Global Advisory Committee: Dr. Nitya Rao [Powerpoint] of ASPBAE, who is also a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and Dr. Codou Diaw [Powerpoint], Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists. Civil society organization panelists Binita Shrestha [Word], a popular radio show host from Nepal, and Betty Makoni [Powerpoint], Executive Director of Girl Child Network Zimbabwe, shared personal experiences in the challenges and successes of empowering girls.

UNGEI Secretariat Head Cheryl Gregory Faye presented the results of the recent online eDiscussion on safety and security in and around schools, moderated by Dr. Bagele Chilisa of Botswana University, which recommended concrete steps that can be taken to make schools and the routes to them safer for girls.

Girls’ education was mentioned in all conference plenary sessions as being a crucial investment for contributing to the reduction of maternal mortality.


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