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Media Advisory: West and Central Africa - Regional UNGEI Launch

Launch of the Regional Partnership Network for Girls’ Education & Gender in Education
“Reaching the gender goal in education requires emergency measures”

WHO:  
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador & Artist Yvonne Chaka-Chaka
Mr Theophane Nikyema, UNICEF Regional Director i.e for West & Central Africa
Dr Lala Ben Barka, Director, UNESCO BREDA
Ms Cecile Mukarubuga, UNIFEM Regional Director for West and Central Africa
Mr. Mamadou Gueye, ECOWAS Executive Secretariat
Dr Marema Dioum, FAWE, Executive Office
Mme Nènè E Traoré, Directrice de la Promotion de la Femme, UEMOA
Ms Heather Johnson, OXFAM, NGO Representative
Mr Kallon Macmond, Youth Representative

WHEN:  
11-13 April 2006   
A press conference will be held at 1230 p.m. on Thursday, 13 April at the Hotel Ndiarama

WHERE:  
Hotel Ngor Ndiarama, Dakar, Senegal 

WHAT: 
Launch of the UNGEI Regional Partnership Network for Girls’ Education. The partnership is working towards closing the gender gap in education.

WHY:   
In West & Central Africa, almost 1 out of every 2 children (45%), is out of school; most of these are girls in rural areas. 81% of children out of school have mothers with no formal education. The primary education net enrolment rate for the region is only 55%. The challenges of achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to universal primary education by 2015 are greatest in West & Central Africa.   

MEDIA: 
Media representatives are invited to attend any or all of the meeting sessions. 
A press conference will be held at 1230 p.m. on Thursday, 13 April at the Hotel Ndiarama
Opportunities for one-on-one interviews with key participants will be facilitated on request
Please contact: ywillemot@unicef.org or kpage@unicef.org for more details.
  
Girls’ Education in West & Central Africa: Girls’ education is facing many challenges, from emergencies and HIV/AIDS, to deepening poverty and persistent gender disparities. The complexity of the issues preventing girls from accessing school requires a diverse group of partners to address them with the goal of moving girls’ education forward, at every level and in every setting.

UNGEI Partnership: The UNGEI partnership encompasses: UNICEF, ILO, World Bank, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNDESA, UNESCO, UNPF, UNHCR, UNIFEM, WFP, WHO, UNDG, bilateral agencies, NGOs and the civil society. Key regional partners in West and Central Africa include also regional political organizations, national and local governments, ministries of education, grass-roots organizations, local and international NGOs and donor governments.

Millennium Development Goals 2 & 3: Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3 are related to girls’ education and are inextricably linked. MDG 2 is the achievement of universal primary education: to ensure that by 2015 all children complete a full course of primary schooling. MDG 3, to promote gender equality and empower women, also has a vital educational dimension; progress towards it means the elimination of gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015. Universal primary education, by definition, cannot be reached without gender parity. And, gender parity in primary education is of limited worth if the participation of both girls and boys remain at low levels.

For further information, please contact:
Yves Willemont, UNICEF Dakar:
221-569-1926, ywillemot@unicef.org
Kent Page, UNICEF Dakar:
221-869-5876,  kpage@unicef.org
Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York:
1-212-326-7452,  kdonovan@unicef.org
Damien Personnaz, UNICEF Geneva:
41 22 909 5716,  dpersonnaz@unicef.org


 

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