Thursday, June 18, 2015

Every girl must enjoy the right to education

Upon the UAE's initiative and the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in cooperation with the Human Rights Council, the Council held its a panel discussion as part of its twenty-ninth regular session, on realising the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl.

The panel focused on a broad spectrum of situations and obstacles that girls face when accessing education, as well as actions and responses of States.

The event was attended by UAE Minister of State, Reem Al Hashemi and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who participated for the first time in the panel discussion. He commended the UAE for initiating the topic and the representatives of UNICEF and UNESCO as well.

Al Hashemi said, "No society can achieve its goals without the empowerment of women. The key for the empowerment of women is education, which can be attained only through gender equality and the right of education for every girl."

She reviewed the educational policy in the UAE, where the State provides mandatory free primary education for all citizens in line with the highest standards of education, setting of effective curricula, providing continuous professional training for teachers, and the provision of appropriate educational materials for schools.

The UAE Minister said that in the Gender Gap Report of 2013 prepared by the World Economic Forum, the UAE was ranked first in the world in the field of educational attainment. According to the report, Emirati girls constitute 70 per cent of University graduates in the UAE, one of the highest percentages in the world.

On his part, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to UN and Other International Organisations, said the UAE's sponsorship of this initiative stems from its conviction to pay utmost care to the issue of strengthening the right of girls to education.

He underscored in his speech that despite the progress made in recent years, girls in many regions of the world still suffer extreme deprivation and exclusion from educational systems, adding that the panel discussion "is a forum for to share lessons learned and best practices at the international level in the field of girls' education."

Al Zaabi noted that the UAE supports the UNESCO report for 2013 on Education for All and the importance of putting the girls' education on the top of new educational goals for the period after 2015, so that equal opportunities are availed for girls in schools, and to acquire the necessary skills through education.

The regional blocs also thanked the UAE for its initiative.  –End-

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