Press release

Laureates from Brazil and Mozambique to receive 2021 UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education

15/10/2021

A project training underrepresented and low-income women and girls to close the gender gap in Brazil’s technology sector, and another empowering adolescent girls and young women in Mozambique through role models and sisterhood circles will be awarded this year’s UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women's Education during an online ceremony on 15 October 2021. The laureates were selected by UNESCO’s Director-General, upon the recommendation of an international jury, from over 70 nominations submitted by UNESCO Member States and non-governmental organizations in official partnership with UNESCO. Each of the laureates will be awarded US$ 50,000 to help further their work in advancing girls’ and women’s education.

REPROGRAMA from Brazil, is rewarded for its project, Reprogramming Brazil’s Technology Sector, which is working to close the gender gap in Brazil’s technology sector through the provision of training to thousands of underrepresented and low-income women and girls in coding and other in-demand digital skills. 

The project focuses on equipping women and girls with the programming knowledge, skills and confidence they need for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce, while also empowering them to speak up and be heard in a traditionally male-dominated sector as well as in their everyday lives. Today, it has reached over 10,000 women and girls through its 18-week, face-to face and online programming bootcamps and technical events.

Girl MOVE Academy of Mozambique, is recognized for its project, Unblocking Girls’ Education and Opportunities through new Reference Models, which empowers adolescent girls and young women to have fair access to education through mentorship, storytelling, sisterhood circles and a unique model of intergenerational support.

The project emphasizes leadership and social networks to address the harmful gender norms and stereotypes that prevent girls and women from reaching their full potential. Recognized for both its innovative model and quick adaption to the COVID-19 pandemic using low-cost technologies, the project is being scaled through partnerships with national universities and other local organizations. It has now empowered over 5,000 girls and young women to actively participate in education and society.

UNESCO will celebrate the 2021 laureates in an online award ceremony on Friday 15 October with the participation of Professor Peng Liyuan, First Lady of the People’s Republic of China and UNESCO Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education, and Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. 

Held as part of UNESCO’s celebration of International Day of the Girl 2021, the formal award ceremony will be followed by the launch of a new China-Africa collaborative project on ‘Promoting School Health Education for girls in Africa in the COVID era’, funded by Peking University and a panel discussion featuring four Prize laureates and their work to advance education, health, protection and rights for girls during COVID-19 school closures. 

Established in 2015 by the Executive Board of UNESCO and funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education contributes directly to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 concerning, respectively, education and gender equality. Last year’s laureates were the Shilpa Sayura Foundation of Sri Lanka and the Girl Child Network from Kenya.

 

Further Information:

Media Contact: Clare O’Hagan, c.o-hagan@unesco.org, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 29