On International Women’s Day, UNESCO launches the call for nominations for the 2021 UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in a context where girls and women have been disproportionately impacted by nationwide school closures, ensuring that girls and women continue learning must be a priority. UNESCO estimates that over 11 million girls and young women may not return to school following the impact of the pandemic. This is in addition to the 128 million girls who were already out of school before the pandemic.
The Prize is more significant in these challenging times than ever before. Highlighting innovations that can help us foster an equal future is key to responding to global challenges around girls’ and women’s education. Read about the nomination process below.
Gender equality in education is a basic right and a prerequisite to build inclusive societies. Although notable progress has been made over the last 20 years, 129 million girls remain out of school, and two-thirds of children of primary school age who may never set foot in school are girls (UNESCO Institute for Statistics).
The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education honours outstanding and innovative contributions made by individuals, institutions and organizations to advance girls’ and women’s education. It is the first UNESCO Prize of this nature and is unique in showcasing successful projects that improve and promote the educational prospects of girls and women and in turn, the quality of their lives.
Established by UNESCO’s Executive Board, the Prize directly contributes to the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda, particularly SDG 4 on education and 5 on gender equality. It also supports UNESCO’s global priorities included in the Medium-term Strategy 2014-2021 and the Gender Equality Action Plan 2014-2021 (GEAP II), as well as the UNESCO Strategy for Gender Equality in and through Education (2019-2025).
Governments of UNESCO Member States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in official partnership with UNESCO are now invited to nominate up to three individuals, institutions or organizations who have made strong, innovative contributions in favour of girls’ and women’s education.
Nominations must meet the eligibility and selection criteria set by the Prize. Nominated projects must be established and running for at least two years, show potential to be replicable and scalable, and contribute to one or more of the priority areas of the Prize. An independent International Jury of five experts will assess nominations on the basis of the project’s potential for impact, innovation and sustainability.
Consult the selection process webpage of the Prize to learn more.
Funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Prize is conferred annually to two laureates and consists of an award of US $50,000 each to help further their work in the area of girls’ and women’s education. The Director-General of UNESCO awarded the Prize for the first time in 2016.
How to apply?
Nominations must be submitted in English or French via an online platform, accessible only to National Commissions for UNESCO/Permanent Delegations to UNESCO and NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO.
Based on the recommendations of the Jury, the Director-General of UNESCO will announce the 2021 laureates who will receive the award on 11 October 2021 as part of International Day of the Girl Child celebrations.
- UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education
- Meet previous laureates
- Watch the video of the 2020 laureates
- Contact: GWEPrize@unesco.org(link sends e-mail)
For more information please visit the official website.