The UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, took part in the opening session of the first Global Forum of Francophone Women, held on 20 March at the Musée du Quai Branly, in Paris. The Forum is organized at the initiative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the International Francophonie Day. Within the framework of the Forum, UNESCO, in partnership with French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF), held a roundtable dedicated to education of girls and women.
“There is no human development without the development of women. Their efforts should be recognized supported and encouraged,” said the Director-General. “La Francophonie plays a vital role in providing women with the strength of a community that speaks the same language and has the same voice – that of the right to fundamental freedoms”.
The Forum seeks to share experiences, ideas and recommendations from participants, on avenues for further reflection to ensure equal rights and women's dignity and to create an active network to mobilize in the French speaking world and beyond.
The opening session took place with the participation of Yamina Benguigui, Minister for La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, Secretary-General of the IOF. Michelle Bachelet, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women also sent a message to the attention of participants.