[Event Summary] Education Summit 2016: Empowering Girls and Women through Education
Education Summit 2016: Empowering Girls and Women through Education
Sophia University, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) co-organized the Education Summit 2016: Empowering Girls and Women through Education in Tokyo on May 17, 2016.
Over 130 participants from international organizations, donors, NGOs and universities, including students discussed the importance and benefits of investing in the education of girls and women. The event was supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Japan NGO Network for Education (JNNE), UNICEF Tokyo Office.
The education of girls and women is one of the best opportunities for achieving other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is compelling evidence that better education of girls and women leads to better health outcomes, increases in individual wages and a better chance of climbing out of poverty.
The seminar venue
Delivering her keynote address in which she highlighted the Syrian refugee issues, Ms. Yuriko Koike, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives and of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity said “Girls are two and a half times more likely to be out of primary school and nine times more likely to be out of secondary school than boys if they live in conflict-affected countries. In the absence of education, girls and women face more risks of being targeted for trafficking, early marriage and labor exploitations.”
Ms. Yuriko Koike, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan
“We will only succeed in educating every girl if we engage in the difficult, patient work of eliminating stubborn cultural and social factors that keep girls out of school.” said Ms. Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Secretariat. “Together developing countries and their external partners can help strengthen education systems to ensure that more children – especially girls – get the education they and their societies need and deserve” she added.
Ms. Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education
A technical panel shared experiences of several organizations in developing strategies and implementing projects focusing on education and gender-mainstreaming. Speakers of the panel included education specialists and researchers from Plan Japan, the GPE Secretariat, JICA and Sophia University. The discussion highlighted how education can empower girls and women throughout their life, the transformation this brings to the social structure and education systems and whether cross-sectoral interventions and partnership among actors reinforce its impact.
An organizers’ statement was presented at the end of the conference. Highlights are:
- World leaders, including of the G7 countries, increasingly recognize that girls’ and women’s education is one of the best investments we can make for achieving all of the SDGs, and is also an enabler for improving socio-economic development, equal participation in society and human security.
- However, there are a number of barriers that girls and women continue to face in having access to quality education (e.g. school-based violence, discriminatory social and cultural factors).
- Especially, we note that girls suffer significantly more than boys during conflict and crisis. Thus, we welcome the upcoming discussions regarding education in emergencies and protracted crisis and the new Education Cannot Wait Fund in Istanbul at the World Humanitarian Summit.
- The importance of integrating gender-responsiveness in education policies and planning is recognized, as well as the importance of empowering and ensuring more female leaders at all levels and across society.
- Increased efforts in external and domestic financing for the education of girls and women while using existing resources more effectively, increasing capacity building efforts, and increased collaboration amongst all partners is important.
- Finally, we welcome the actions of all partners, including those present at today’s event, as well as the leaders of the G7 countries, to continue to support and advocate for increased investment and engagement to empower girls and women through education.
- The event coincided with the G7 Summit and the World Humanitarian Summit.
The confluence of these key global events presents an opportunity for the education community and beyond in Japan to bring ideas for empowering girls and women through quality education provision and ideas to enhance our collective efforts.
To access the organizers’ statement, please click here(209.90 KB) (PDF)