Building peace in the minds of men and women

Davos : Empowering Girls to Accelerate MDG Progress

The Director-General will highlight the crucial importance of investing in girls’ and women’s education during an event at the World Economic Forum in Davos with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, members of the MDG Advocacy Group and the UN Foundation, on 23 January.

With 707 days left before the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs, governments, business and civil society leaders will come together to prioritize the rights of girls on the global agenda, with a special emphasis on adolescents.

The Director-General will underscore that that education is the most important factor in escaping poverty. But it has to be of decent quality and extend to at least lower secondary to unlock its full range of benefits, on health, livelihoods, age of marriage, income and civic participation.

She will draw attention to acceleration efforts to achieve the MDGs, including through the Big Push in Africa, the Global Partnership for Girls and Women’s Education and the Global Education First Initiative, and to the need for comprehensive strategies that address the fragile transitions in a girl’s life. “On all counts, investment in quality girls’ education is the smartest way to empower girls and accelerate progress towards the Future We Want.”

The MDG Advocacy Group is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, who will both address the event.