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Press releases and news notes

Girls' education

Girls spend 160 million more hours than boys doing household chores everyday – UNICEF
NEW YORK, 7 October, 2016 – Girls between 5 and 14 years old spend 40 per cent more time, or 160 million more hours a day, on unpaid household chores and collecting water and firewood compared to boys their age, according to a report released by UNICEF ahead of International Day of the Girl on 11 October.

Global Goals Awards honour champions for women’s and girls’ rights
NEW YORK, 20 September, 2016 – The first annual Global Goals Awards tonight honoured a lawyer who fights against child marriage in Tanzania, a Syrian teen and Olympic swimmer who saved fellow refugees from drowning, and an organization that brings health care to vulnerable girls and women in Pakistan.

International Women’s Day: 10 quick facts on girls
NEW YORK, 7 March 2015 – To mark International Women’s Day and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on women’s empowerment, UNICEF presents a statistical snapshot of progress and trends for girls and women.

UNICEF, UNFPA stand behind Africa’s biggest anti child marriage push
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 29 May 2014 – UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) welcomed the first African Union campaign to end child marriage launched in Addis Ababa today.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira meets adolescent girls in India
UDAIPUR, India, 15 November 2011 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira met today with a group of adolescent girls from impoverished parts of the country...

UNICEF says education for women and girls a lifeline to development
NEW YORK, 4 May 2011 – Making sure girls and women have equal access to quality education is key to sustainable economic development, UNICEF said today...

Girls’ education conference concludes with strong call to focus on the most marginalized children
DAKAR, SENEGAL, 26 May 2010 – Although great strides have been made to get more girls into classrooms, those still out of school are likely to be from...

UNGEI global conference on girls’ education focuses on preventing “56 million wasted opportunities”
DAKAR, Senegal, 17 May 2010 – A conference designed to find new ways to ensure that some 56 million children – most of them girls – do not miss out on...

Girls Education, Focus of United Nations Global ConferenceEngendering Empowerment: Education and Equality (E4)
Media Advisory

Securing rights of adolescent girls is critical for achieving development goals
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 8 April 2009 – Parliamentarians are convening today to address the urgent need for accelerated progress in protecting...

World experts on girls’ education meet in Kathmandu
KATHMANDU, 11 June 2008 – Education experts representing United Nations agencies, donor countries, national governments and non-governmental...

Yemen’s efforts to accelerate girls’ education get boost from Dubai Cares campaign
SANA’A, 3 October 2007 - UNICEF’s endeavours to accelerate girls’ education in Yemen received a major boost early this week with a visit to Yemen by...

Afghanistan Girls’ Education Initiative gets a boost
KABUL, 13 September 2007 - A three-year plan to promote girls’ education was developed in Kabul this week during a workshop organized by the Ministry of...

On visit to native Benin, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo urges parents to send daughters to school
COTONOU, 13 September 2007 - Full of energy and passion Angélique Kijdo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, has just finished a visit to her native country of...

FIFA World Cup 2002 memorabilia to be auctioned for UNICEF
NEW YORK, LONDON, GENEVA, TOKYO, SEOUL, 28 May 2002 - An unprecedented online auction of football gear signed by such luminaries as Brazilian legend Pelé and popstar Anastacia has begun, and will run through the entire 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Despite progress, girls subjected to violence and discrimination
NEW YORK, 5 March 2007 – Violence against women and girls is one of the most extreme forms of inequality, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman...

Zimbabwe’s ground-breaking plan for girls and orphans and vulnerable children’s education
HARARE, 18 October 2006 – The United Nations in collaboration with Government and civil society will launch the ground-breaking National Girls Education Strategic Plan to increase Zimbabwe’s likelihood of achieving universal primary education and ensuring girls stay in school.

Zimbabwe launches ground-breaking national girls education strategic plan
HARARE, 18 October 2006 – The United Nations in collaboration with the government and civil society launched a ground-breaking National Girls Education Strategic Plan to increase Zimbabwe’s likelihood of achieving universal primary education and ensuring girls stay in school.

Orange, France Telecom and UNICEF unite for girls education in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, 7 September 2006 - Orange Madagascar, France Telecom and UNICEF Madagascar signed a US$ 20,000, two-year partnership this morning to promote the education of girls in Madagascar.

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.

UNICEF calls on religious leaders to work together for peace and development
KYOTO, 26 August 2006 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today called for greater cooperation among religions to protect children from the threats of poverty, disease and violence.

The 2006 ‘All girls to school’ campaign launched in Benin
COTONOU, 15 June, 2006 – Two Ministers, Agnes Van Ardenne, the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, and Colette Houeto, Beninese Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, got on the back of a ‘zemidjan’, sporting the yellow shirt of the notorious taxi-motorcycles of Cotonou, blazoned with the logo of the campaign ‘Toutes les filles à l’école’, or ‘All girls to school’.

League of Arab States and UNICEF focus on teacher qualifications
Amman / Cairo, May 30, 2006 - Formulas to advance the quality of education in the Arab World by focusing on teacher training and professional qualifications was the subject of a first League of Arab States (LAS) - UNICEF expert meeting in Cairo. According to UNESCO, the Arab region needs to train an additional 450,000 teachers by 2015.

Dutch government boosting girls' education in Ethiopia
ADDIS ADABA, 15 May 2006 – Seven regions of Ethiopia are set to receive US$12 million over three years from the Netherlands Government after UNICEF and the Royal Netherlands Government Embassy in Addis Ababa signed an agreement today in support of increasing access to quality education for girls. The regions are Afar, Somali, Amhara, Oromia, Benishangul, Gambella and SNNPR.

Arab media enthusiasm to promote girls' education enjoys renewed momentum
DUBAI, May 4, 2006 – Media representatives and experts at the Second Arab Regional Media Forum today concluded an extensive review of the situation surrounding Arab girls' access to education and remaining challenges in several countries to ensure sustained enrolment and retention in school.

Second Arab Regional Media Forum on child rights kicks off in Dubai
DUBAI, May 2, 2006 – Arab media professionals, human rights organizations, academia and UN agencies today initiated an in-depth dialogue on the issue of girls' education in the Arab world, with expectations to leverage enhanced commitment from governments, civil society and communities to support girls’ sustained access to quality education.

Second Arab Regional Media Forum to Address Girls' Education
UNICEF, in partnership with the World Food Programme, UNESCO, the Dubai Humanitarian, the Dubai Press Club, Al Bayan Newspaper, the Arab Institute for Human Rights and the Center for Arab Women for Training & Research are holding the Second Arab Regional Media Forum from 2-4 May 2006, an event calling for enhanced partnerships between media professionals, development agencies and humanitarian partners to promote sustainable opportunities for girls' primary and secondary schooling in the region.

‘Education for All’ week in Yemen brings teachers on board
SANA’A, 25 April 2006 – During ‘Education for All’ week, Yemen is stepping up efforts to overcome barriers to universal primary education.  This year’s theme ‘Every Child Needs a Teacher’ strikes a major chord in Yemen, where the number of teachers lags far behind the actual requirements.  Meeting the looming teacher shortage is one of the greatest barriers to education in Yemen, where the number of female teachers is especially short, particularly in rural areas. 

Liberia to Launch Girls’ Education National Policy
MONROVIA, 17 April 2006 – The Government of Liberia will launch its National Girls’ Education Policy tomorrow.  The policy calls for a collective effort to reach Millennium Development Goal 2: universal primary education for every Liberian child.

Regional partners join efforts in West and Central Africa to increase access to quality education for girls

Dakar, April 13 - The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) Regional Network for West & Central Africa was launched today in Dakar, Senegal by a wide partnership of UN agencies, national and local governments and non-governmental organizations.  UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Yvonne Chaka- Chaka, participated in the launch of the network. “The challenges we face in terms of access to education for girls in this region are enormous, but they are achievable when we join all our efforts,” she said at the launch.

UN Girls' Education Initiative launch in Dakar
DAKAR, 11 April 2006 - 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.   The United Nations family is launching the United Nations Girls' Education Iniative and participants are meeting to kick off the new partnership.

Southern Sudan “goes to school”
JUBA, SOUTHERN SUDAN, 1 April 2006 – Hundreds of thousands of children will go to school for the first time in Southern Sudan this year. A massive “Go To School” campaign aims to more than double the number of children in primary school during the course of the school year, which starts on Monday.

Clock strikes midnight on promise by governments
GENEVA / BEIJING, 25 November 2005 – Forty-six countries have fallen short of the target of getting as many girls as boys into school by 2005, UNICEF said today, launching a report illustrating progress and challenges toward achieving gender equity in education.

Second year of ‘One Schoolbag For Every Primary School Student’ in Djibouti sees dramatic increase in school enrollment figures
Djibouti, 25 October 2005 - For the second consecutive year, 49,000 school children in Djibouti received school kits aimed at ensuring every child has the quality school materials they need.

Afghanistan's maternal and child mortality rates soar
KABUL, 4 August 2005 - While Afghanistan is progressing from a state of emergency to a focus on development, women and children continue to face an "acute emergency'' because of exceptionally high maternal and child mortality rates.  "Infant mortality and under five mortality are very high, girls' enrolment is one of the lowest in the world and malnutrition affects almost half of the country's child population," said Cecilia Lotse, UNICEF’s Regional Director for South Asia, after a a week-long visit to the region.

Central Asian Countries Agree to Improve Quality and Access to Education by 2015
Dushanbe, 9 June, 2005 – Concluding a 3-day meeting in Warzob, delegates from five Central Asian countries committed to speeding up the common education reform process in each country in the face of limited resources for investment in the education sector.

UNICEF supplies 200 new temporary school buildings to Aceh
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA, 26 May 2005 - UNICEF is building two hundred temporary primary schools in the areas of Aceh worst affected by the tsunami.  The buildings would cost $US 2.3 million, or about $11,500 each and were designed to be used while permanent classrooms were being constructed.

Nigeria’s Children’s Day: UNICEF calls for accelerating progress on girls’ education
ABUJA, 27 May 2005. Today millions of children across the nation are celebrating Nigeria’s Children’s Day on the theme: “Educate the girl child, educate the nation”. UNICEF welcomes the choice of this theme and joins all Nigerian children in calling on policy makers, local authorities, religious and traditional leaders, school authorities, the media and all Nigerian parents to accelerate progress on educating girls.

Despite gains in girls' education worldwide, far too many still missing out
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 18 April 2005 – More children than ever are going to school, in part because more girls are going to school: That’s the good news from UNICEF’s latest Progress for Children report, focusing on gender parity in primary school attendance.

UNICEF applauds UK pledge of £1.4 billion to educate girls in developing countries
LONDON, 26 January 2005 - UNICEF today thanked the United Kingdom for its visionary commitment to the education of girls in developing countries with its strategy to advance the work that one day will give all children a basic education.

Nigeria to lead the way in girls' education
Abuja/New York, 8 December 2004 – One of the world’s largest girls’ education projects will be launched tomorrow in Nigeria, supported by a $50 million grant from the UK Government.

More than one million Palestinian children return to school
JERUSALEM, 6 September 2004 - Some 1.2 million children returned to school last week in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after a summer break.

After 21 years of war, the children of Southern Sudan need more than a lifeline
NAIROBI/RUMBEK, 16 June 2004 - A girl born in southern Sudan has a better chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth than of completing primary school. To put it another way, one in nine women dies in pregnancy or childbirth but only one in a hundred girls completes primary school.

One in every eight girls out of school in Turkey
Tuesday, 17 June 2003 - One in every eight girls is out of school in Turkey on the eve of the launch of a major new campaign to get girls back into the classroom. The Advocacy Campaign for Girls' Education launched by UNICEF and The Turkish Ministry of National Education today aims to have every girl in school by 2005.(News note)

Teaming up for Girls' Education at Football Finals
ROTTERDAM/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 22 June 2003 - Under the banner Go Girls! Education for Every Child, young football competitors today kicked off finals week of the Fox Kids Cup in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, bringing to a climax the first in a series of UNICEF campaigns focusing attention on girls' education though the power of sport.

Global Girls Football Day Panel Discussion: The role of sports in child development
LOS ANGELES, 8 October - Leading experts in sports and child development will discuss the realities that rob children of the chance to play sports and get an education, and explore the powerful role of sports in restoring these basic rights. UNICEF and FIFA will reaffirm their joint commitment to reach and improve more young lives through the power of football.

UNICEF calls for ‘Fair Play for Girls’ in South Asia
NEW DELHI/KATHMANDU, 17 December 2003 – The extraordinarily high numbers of children out of school in South Asia, and the disproportionate number of girls, is causing immense damage to the region’s development, UNICEF’s Regional Director, Dr Sadig Rasheed, has told a consultation on education in New Delhi organised by the Baha’I community.

UNICEF to pick up pace on Girls’ Education
DAR ES SAALAM / GENEVA, 3 December 2002 – Declaring that “the education of girls is key to real progress in overcoming poverty,” UNICEF today announced a major initiative to get girls into school in 25 priority countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

UNICEF and H&M in partnership for girls' education and HIV/AIDS awareness
UNICEF today announced a new partnership and thanked the global fashion company H&M for its donation of $1.5 million toward UNICEF girls’ education programmes worldwide and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in Cambodia. The donation will be given over a three-year period.

Half a million kids go back to school in Afghanistan
KABUL, 9 September 2004 – As millions of schoolchildren across the world return to the classroom this week, an anticipated half a million boys and girls from the southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan will also be going back to study, as the second annual phase of the country’s Back to School campaign begins.

Schools open again, but where are the children?
NEW YORK, 16 September 2003 – Over the last two weeks schools around the world have opened their doors for the start of the new school year, but UNICEF said today that recent household surveys show that some 123 million children are currently being left out – perhaps never to see the inside of a classroom.

More than one million children get “school kits” in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR, 7 September 2004 – Amidst much fan fare, smiles and camera flashes, first-time school goers in the nation’s capital received their own "school kit" at a ceremony attended by numerous officials from the Ministry of Education as well as UNICEF’s Chief of Education.

UNICEF rolls out Child-to-Child Survey to get all children in school
ADDIS ABABA, 15 June 2004 – In honour of the Day of the African Child, UNICEF officially launched a child-powered, global project to account for children not in school in order to accelerate the enrolment of all girls as well as all boys.

UNICEF assists schools affected by recent violence in Thailand
BANGKOK, May 3 – UNICEF is sending school supplies to the three southern provinces in Thailand affected by the recent violence. since January 2004, an estimated 30 schools have been destroyed in southern Thailand, affecting some 5,000 students. Teachers have been intimidated and there is a fear that some schools may not reopen after the current holiday due to security considerations, according to UNICEF.

Getting girls into school is first step to reaching MDGs
GENEVA / CAIRO / NEW YORK, 11 December 2003 – International development efforts are drastically short-changing girls, leaving hundreds of millions of girls and women uneducated and unable to contribute to positive change for themselves, their children, or their communities, a major UNICEF report released today contends. 

Afghanistan's schools triumphantly open; UNICEF calls it 'reminder to all of us'
KABUL / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 23 March 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund today lauded the Afghan Interim Administration for its "relentless commitment to education," as 3,000 schools across Afghanistan threw open their doors to more than 1.5 million girls and boys, many of whom were entering a formal classroom for the first time in six years.

The spiralling cost of keeping girls out of school
NEW YORK, 6 March 2004 – UNICEF said today that nothing will change for women unless girls’ education becomes a global priority. "If we want to make sure that women and children are better off today and in the future, we must start by opening classrooms to girls everywhere,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said two days before International Women’s Day. “ Education is the right of every girl and boy and an essential element in the progress of any country.”

FIFA 2003 Women's World Cup to champion girls' education
NEW YORK, 19 September 2003 - UNICEF today hailed the start of the FIFA 2003 Women's World Cup, this year dedicated to Go Girls! Education for Every Child, UNICEF's campaign to rally support and resources to get more girls into school.

During Global Education Action Week, don't forget the girls
NEW YORK, 20 April 2004 – During the Global Campaign for Education’s Action Week, UNICEF is calling for increased attention to the disproportionate number of girls who are denied their right to an education. Of the 121 million children out of school, more than half are girls.

On Int'l Women's Day, Afghanistan's girls catch up on lost years
KABUL, 7 March 2004 – As Afghanistan prepares to celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March, the United Nations Children’s Fund has announced that more than 45,000 children – over 80 per cent of them girls – have benefited from special accelerated learning classes organized during the winter school vacation.

Girls' education in Afghanistan lifts off with school supply shipment
Thursday, 6 February 2003 - Six weeks before Afghanistan's children return to the classroom at the start of the second full year of learning, the Afghan Ministry of Education is taking delivery of new school materials supplied by UNICEF as part of the Back to School 2003 campaign. (News note)

Two years of progress for Afghan women and children
KABUL, 20 November 2003, – Two years since the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, UNICEF this week highlights some of the progress that has been made for the country’s women and children since the start of the reconstruction process.

UNICEF and FIFA join with children to celebrate "Global Girls Football Day"
NEW YORK, 8 October 2003 – As excitement builds to a fever pitch in the last week of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, children around the world will be celebrating Global Girls Football Day, jointly designated as 11 October by UNICEF and FIFA.

UNICEF and cricket in South Asia unite for girl’s education
DHAKA/Bangladesh, 21 June 2004 - UNICEF and the Asian Cricket Council have joined hands on one of the biggest development challenges facing South Asia. With 46 million children out of school in the region, the majority of them girls, the two bodies have agreed to highlight the massive loss this represents for children, society and the progress of countries in the region.

UNICEF Launches Girls’ Education Initiative in Western and Central Africa
Monday, 23 June 2003 - As a number of countries in Western and Central Africa struggle to achieve their development goals, UNICEF is calling on donors and governments in the region to assign greater weight to the role of education and to invest far more in the education of girls.  (Press release)

UNICEF teams up with partners for girls’ education
PARIS/DHAKA-BANGLADESH/NEW YORK, 21 June 2004 - Major sporting bodies and stars lent their skills and muscle to the cause of girl's education at two international events today.  In Dhaka, UNICEF announced a partnership with the Asian Cricket Council and in Paris cheered the finals of the Jetix Kids Cup (formerly Fox Kids Cup). 

UNICEF celebrates Afghanistan's 'million girl mark'
KABUL/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 2 October 2003 - UNICEF said today the entrance of more than 1 million girls into the Afghan school system since the fall of the Taliban is “a testament to the courage and wisdom of the Afghan people, and the generosity of the international community.”

MOE and UNICEF host workshop to promote keeping Ethiopian girls' in school
19 February 2003, NAZRETH, Ethiopia - The Ministry of Education (MOE) and UNICEF are kicking off a workshop today to develop innovative strategies and an action plan to promote girls' education in five regions that have wide gender gaps and low girls' school enrolment rates.   (News Note)

Helping Iraq's children get back to school
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 7 September 2004 - The near US$2 million raised so far as a result of the Back to School telethon, (Dubai TV, September 3) will provide timely and essential support to help rebuild Iraq’s devastated schools.

Is the world walking away from universal education?
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 6 November 2003 – Reacting to a global monitoring report that shows most countries are not on track to meet a 2005 goal for gender parity in education, UNICEF said today that it was not too late for governments to launch “credible efforts” to get more girls into school. 




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