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Private Sector comes forward to support girls’ education

YEMEN, 30 August 2006 - Yemen’s national efforts for acceleration of girls education and reduction of the gender gap are getting a major boost with the launch of Business Partnership for Girls Education here on Saturday that marks the beginning of a novel tripartite coalition between government, private sector and UNICEF.

The Business partnership for Girls Education is first major private sector initiative of its kind in the country and is spearheaded by three leading business houses of Arwa Group (Shamlan Water), Spacetel and Universal Group. The Partnership illustrates private sector’s affirmation and resolve to play their role in the promotion of girls’ education that has emerged as a national challenge demanding collective social action.

Business Partnership goes into action in different audiences from people all over Yemen to parents, teachers and children in 5 specific districts. five selected districts of Lawder ( Abyan Governorate), Toor Al-Baha (Lahij Governorate), Al-Azareq (Dhale Governorate) AL-Munera ( Hodaida Governorate) and Sanhan ( Sana’a Governorate) with the campaign whose chosen theme is “ Let me learn” capturing the spirit of the girl child that is keen to go to school in the wake of all odds. Through this theme the campaign is trying to motivate all members of the community to play their role in the response to the urgency to reduce gender gap and send girls to school to realize one of the their basic rights.

The partnership is devoted to build a national consensus and attitudinal change for making a positive contribution in cash and kind to help overcome the barriers that surround the girls’ education. Yemen is facing a serious challenge to bridge the gender gap that at the national level shows that there are 63 girls per 100 boys in the Primary schools. Beyond the national average, urban/rural differences are marked and rise to a high gender gap of 55 points meaning that there are 45 girls are enrolled per 100 boys—making the gender gap one of the highest in the region.

The accelerated campaign is the forerunner and part of the national programme to increase September enrollment and counter the high levels of drop-out in girls education in Yemen. The launch is organized jointly by the Ministry of Education, Business Partnership and UNICEF to affirm their commitment for promotion of girls’ education in a concerted manner to help achieve the national goal. The Business Partnership aims to mobilize a large and diverse group of private sector partners to create a sustainable private sector for education” group  to strengthen  the social context for supporting access to basic education, especially for girls. In a practical demonstration of their support, private sector is distributing posters, flyers, stickers, notebooks, and assisting with production of radio and TV flashes for creating awareness on the importance of girls’ education. More notable among the other partners is World Food Programme which is playing a key role in the distribution of educational material through their well-established distribution mechanism related to Food for Education.


For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:

Naseem-Ur-Rehman, UNICEF –Yemen: Tel: +  00967-1-211400, ext. no. 111, mobile no. 711212720, nrehman@unicef.org




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