Dear friends,

We are glad to inform you that after our pleasant experience with the Italian blog, the IIMA Human Rights Office has decided to open a new blog in English.

On this blog, you may follow our main activities with the United Nations and its mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as news from the UN bodies and IIMA offices in different countries related to the right to education.

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Have a great time reading!


States and Panelists Tackle Equal Enjoyment of the Right to Education for Girls

On June 16, IIMA and VIDES attended the “Panel on Realizing the Equal Enjoyment of the Right to Education by Every Girl” to end the second full day of the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). The President of the HRC, Joachim Rucker, introduced the panel, noting that still close to 62 million girls around the world are not in school, and many suffer attacks only because they wish to attend.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the High Commissioner, then gave his report, setting the scene for the panel by pointing out the barriers that girls worldwide often face when trying to receive a good quality education. The panel consisted of Marilena Viviani, the Associate Director of Programme Partnerships for the Division of Programmes for UNICEF; Reem Al Hashemi, the Minister of the State for the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Barbara Bailey, the Vice Chair on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Chair of the CEDAW Working Group on the Right of Girls and Women to Education; Kishore Singh, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education; Hannah Godefa, UNICEF Ethiopia Goodwill Ambassador; and Adama Coulibaly, the Regional Director for the West African Region of Plan International.

Each panelist spoke of her or his own experiences with the right to education. Ms Viviani spoke of the progress UNICEF is making to overcome the gap, while Ms Hashemi spoke of the advances the UAE has made to equalize education for boys and girls, through budget and policy. Ms Bailey stressed the implications of denying access to education for girls, and Mr Singh urged all States to ratify the CEDAW. Ms Godefa, the only youth on the panel, talked about ways that governments can support girls as they strive to receive quality education, and Mr Coulibaly shared many personal stories, one of which highlighted the differences between his and his sister’s opportunities for schooling during times of disaster.

While many States spoke out in support of equal enjoyment of education for girls, IIMA and VIDES remain concerned that girls worldwide, but especially in developing countries, still do not receive the support and access they need to quality education, and are further set back in their economic situation, ensuring that society cannot progress if women do not have access to high quality education, that is on par with their male peers.

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