The year 2020 marks 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, and 20 years since the launch of UNGEI — our global and intergenerational partnership of over 30 organizations joined by a shared commitment to gender equality in and through education.
The launch of the Generation Equality Forum, now postponed to 2021, would have solidified the momentum of what should have been a landmark year for celebration, stocktaking, and renewed commitments to collective action for gender equality. Instead, we are facing tremendous uncertainty, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back progress on girls’ education, safety and rights.
While the current crisis has put UNGEI’s vision and goals at risk, the need for global partnership to drive progress for gender equality in and through education has never been greater. It is in this context that we launch the Educate for Equality: UNGEI@20 Forum.
What is the Educate for Equality: UNGEI@20 Forum?
A global, virtual and intergenerational event, the Forum will run from 12th-16th October. Organized around the six Generation Equality Action Coalitions — gender-based violence; economic justice and rights; bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); feminist action for climate justice; technology and innovation; and feminist movements and leadership — the Forum will explore how education can drive progress in each and every area identified by the international community as key to efforts for gender equality.
Each session includes a documentary video featuring youth activists, experts and educators, followed by intergenerational ‘Real Talks’ which unpack the issues raised, answer questions and advocate for specific actions to drive progress for gender equality in and through education.
There are so many online events — why is this one so important?
With existing inequalities worsening in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, never has the risk to the schooling of millions of girls, nor their need for quality education, been greater. We know that the path to gender equality — including ending gender-based violence; advancing economic justice and rights for women; closing gender gaps in STEM fields and careers; and so much more — runs through education.
As such, education needs to be fully integrated across every aspect of the women’s rights and gender equality agenda. This is our opportunity to explore how we can work together to unlock the gender transformative potential of education.
Okay — so what can we expect from the week?
Monday 12th October: Taking stock of progress for gender equality in education over the past 25 years, we join the French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs, Plan International France and UNESCO to launch two new reports through a live discussion with female leaders and young women reflecting on how education transforms lives.
Tuesday 13th October: We premiere the first in a series of documentaries on how education can advance economic justice and rights for women and girls. This will be followed by a live discussion with leaders representing CAMFED — Campaign for Female Education, the UNESCO GEM Report and Global Partnership for Education (GPE). In the next session we explore how education can tackle the root causes and drivers of gender-based violence through a film screening and Real Talk which brings together experts from Education International, Chalk Back and Breakthrough India.
Wednesday 14th October: We look at how taking a holistic approach to education can drive progress for bodily autonomy and SRHR. Watch the film screening and Real Talk with leaders from the YP Foundation, UNESCO and Right Here Right Now and tell us what you think on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! Later in the day, we explore the power of education to unlock feminist action for climate justice with experts from the Brookings Institution, WEDO and EmpoderaClima. How can we empower girls through education to build a more sustainable future for our planet? This — and more — will be presented and discussed during the film screening and Real Talk.
Thursday 15th October: How can education be an entry point to close the STEM gap and gender digital divide? Our lineup of guests, including STEM leaders and activists from UNICEF, Intel and more will join us to explore the issues and answer questions through a film screening and Real Talk. The next session is about our global journey to dismantle patriarchal structures in schools and society at large, using education as a tool to empower the next generation of feminist leaders and movement builders. This discussion will be led by experts from Plan International, Restless Development, FRIDA and Gender@Work. Don’t miss it!
Friday 16th October: Because no global forum would be complete without an epic finale — join us on for a convergence event and open mic hosted by Slam Out Loud featuring young poets from around the globe!
Sounds amazing — how can we join?
Check out our online programme of events and register through this link: e4e.ungei.org/register
As always, follow @UNGEI on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates and highlights and the conversation through #Educate4Equality. Missed an event? Don’t worry — we’ll be posting the recordings on our social media platforms, and you can catch up through e4e.ungei.org