Laureates from Jamaica and Egypt to receive the 2018 UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women’s Education


A Jamaican project to help school-aged mothers return to the classroom and another in Egypt which provides educational opportunities for marginalized girls will receive  this year’s UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education Stefania Giannini and Vice Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xuejun Tian, will award USD 50,000 to the Women’s Centre from Jamaica and the same amount to the Misr El- Kheir Foundation from Egypt during a ceremony at UNESCO’s Headquarters, on 11 October (International Day of the Girl Child).

An international jury selected the laureates from many remarkable nominations submitted by UNESCO Member States and partner non-governmental organizations.

The Women’s Centre of Jamaica is rewarded for its project, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). It targets girls who drop out of school due to early pregnancy, providing these school-aged mothers with academic and practical training, health services, nursing and more. Young mothers are encouraged to re-enter school to complete their basic education and some to advance to tertiary education. The project, which has benefited from and impacted on state policies in Jamaica, has been replicated in other countries, supporting girls and women in the acquisition of knowledge and skills for a fulfilling life, helping them transition to employment.

The Misr El-Kheir Foundation from Egypt is recognized for its project, Educational Opportunities for Children in Underserved Villages through Community Schools. This project provides community-focused educational opportunities to children ages 6-14 in remote areas. It particularly focuses on girls who are not enrolled in primary education or who have dropped out due to early marriage or other obstacles. Educational programmes are adapted to the needs of communities, including efforts to prevent early marriage by supporting adolescent girls to go to school and acquire literacy skills.

Established in 2015 by the Executive Board of UNESCO and funded by the People’s Republic of China, the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education contributes directly to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, notably its 4th and 5th goals concerning respectively education and gender equality.

Last year’s laureates were The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Center in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and The Mini Academy of Science and Technology in Peru.


Media contact: Mr Leyong Gao,

Further information on the Prize: