Islamabad: UNESCO and Government of Pakistan will co-host a high-level advocacy event called “Standup for Malala – Stand up for Girls’ Right to Education” to be held in Paris on 10 December. The Event is designed to generate political will and accelerate action in favor of every girl’s right to go to school. The event will coincide with United Nations Human Rights Day.
According to a statement released by UNESCO headquarter in Paris, “The assassination attempt on Malala represents violation of right of girls to education. In far too many countries, girls are deprived of this fundamental human right that is the key to dignity and decent future. Discrimination starts early in girls’ life. We must harness the global movement of solidarity around Malala to strengthen political will and put in place measures required to ensure that all girls have a place in school.”
A local press conference was held today in Islamabad, which was hosted by Federal Minister for Education and Training, Sheikh Waqas Akram, Secretary Education and Training, Qamar Zaman and Director of UNESCO, Pakistan Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata; who, in the presence of local media jointly announced that “Standup for Malala – Stand up for Girls’ Right to Education” day will be attended by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari in Paris, by jointly signing invitation letter of the mentioned event with Director-General of UNESCO Ms. Irina Bokova.
“The event will mobilize heads of State and government, leaders of UN agencies, International and bilateral organizations, foundations, donors, the private sector, civil society, academics, religious leaders, eminent personalities, the media and other stakeholders in an effort to reinforce commitment in favor in programs for girls’ education”, Mr. Sheikh, Federal Minister for Education and Training said.
Requested by the press, the Minister shared the statistics indicating the gloomy situation of gender disparity in Pakistan. While quoting from UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2012 Mr. Waqas Akram said, “ The youth (between age 15- 24) female literacy rate in Pakistan is 61% against 79% for males. However, youth female literacy rate is projected to be 72% (against 82% for males) by year 2015, whereas adult female literacy rate of older age group (15+) is projected to be 47%. The gender-based ratio (female – male) of illiterate youth between ages 15 – 24 is, 64% – 36%. This shows that gender gap still exists.”
Dr. Nagata, Director UNESCO further added, “10th of December coincides with United Nations Human Rights Day — a perfect occasion to promote and advocate girls right for education globally and promote the Education for all (EFA) goals.”