UNESCO-CJ Strategic Partnership for Girls’ Education
UNESCO and CJ Group launched the “Bright Girls, Brighter Future!” global education campaign in November 2014, as part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education “Better Life, Better Future”. The campaign aims to address the lack of access to quality education faced by girls in developing regions by using CJ’s significant media outreach and influence. CJ group is also a major contributor to the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, which expands girls’ access to quality education, especially in countries affected by conflict and disaster.
The objectives of the partnership are to:
- Widen girls’ access to education and learning opportunities
- Improve girls’ completion rates by enhancing quality of education
- Empower communities to meet girls’ specific needs
About CJ Group
CJ Group is a South Korean conglomerate with four core business areas: food and food services, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, home-shopping and logistics, and entertainment and media (E&M). In line with its vision to ‘Create a New Culture for Healthy, Happy and Convenient Lifestyles’, CJ Group established two philanthropic organizations: CJ Welfare Foundation (2005) and CJ Cultural Foundation(2006). CJ Welfare Foundation aims to foster quality educational opportunities and help children build on their dreams, and CJ Cultural Foundation supports young talented artists and creators in the fields of music, screenplay, and performing arts.
Highlights from the “Bright Girls, Brighter Future!” campaign
- Addressing gender stereotypes through the Rainbow Ruby animated television series
This animation series features a six-year-old girl named Ruby who explores different professions such as golfer, firefighter and chef to show what girls are capable of and how their occupations can make positive impacts on the world around them. UNESCO, CJ E&M and CJ Welfare Foundation signed the partnership agreement to promote girls' education through the series in 2016. Rainbow Ruby currently runs in multiple major media broadcasters in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Additional networks are expected to launch the series within the year.
- Raising awareness of the importance of girls’ education though CJ’s cultural platforms
UNESCO and CJ are also promoting girls’ education through major cultural events. CJ engages celebrities in sharing messages that sensitise young audiences about the importance of girls’ education through global music festivals including KCON/MAMA (MNET Asia Music Awards) and Asia’s No.1 fashion festival Style Icon Asia (SIA). Artist and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation Forest Whitaker announced the “Bright Girls, Brighter Future!” UNESCO-CJ Partnership at the 2014 MNET Asia Music Awards, and artist Demi Lovato (link is external) shared her message on girls’ education at the 2016 MNET Asia Music Awards (see also full videos of the 2015 and 2016 MNET Asia Music Awards). Video messages at these events have reached 500,000 on-site audiences, and 2.4 billion people in 161 countries via media broadcast.
- Mobilising funds to support UNESCO projects on girls’ education
CJ and affiliates are mobilizing contributions to the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education through proceeds from Rainbow Ruby earnings, TV shows with charity auctions such as the ‘GiveBoutique’ TV show and the purchase of promotional items at Olive Young, a Health and Beauty Store. Olive Young viral video campaign "Beautiful Mind, Beautiful Change" not only mobilised funds for the programme but engaged more than 4 million donors and received 6 million video views over a two-months period from November to December 2016. This is enabling UNESCO to support projects in countries around the world on girls’ education, from literacy programmes for girls in earthquake-stricken areas of Nepal, to safe school programmes in Tanzania.
As part of its commitment to girls’ education, CJ Group is a core funder of the UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum “Cracking the code – Girl’s education in STEM”, taking place from 28-30 August 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.