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Peng Liyuan sends congratulatory message to UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education

In her message, Peng expressed congratulations to prize-winners from Sri Lanka and Kenya. In 2015, China established the Girls’ and Women’s Education Award with UNESCO, and Peng mentioned that there are millions of people who devote their life for the education of girls and women in China.  

Zhang Guimei is one of them. She is a female teacher who has taught in the poor mountainous areas of Southwest China’s Yunnan Province for over 40 years. She established the first full-tuition-free girls high school in China, which helps many young girls from poverty-stricken families receive education. 

This year, 1.5 billion students have been forced to suspend classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Peng, and this impact on girls is particularly pronounced. We need to find ways to help those girls get back to school so that they won’t be left behind due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sixty-three percent of illiterate adults around the world are women, said Peng, and the education of girls and women is of great benefit to the present and the future. China will continue to work with UNESCO to ensure the success of the Girls’ and Women’s Education Awards from 2021 to 2025, and make greater contributions to promoting girls’ and women’s education and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Peng added. 

Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO, thanked the Chinese government for supporting the establishment of Girls’ and Women’s Education Awards. 

The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education honors outstanding and innovative contributions made by individuals, institutions and organizations to advance girls’ and women’s education. 


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Meghan Markle Says Denying Education To Girls Is ‘Robbing’ Society Of Cultural Richness


  • Meghan Markle says educating girls opens the door for “societal success”
  • Markle and Prince Harry joined Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai for a video call on International Day of the Girl Child
  • Prince Harry shared that educating young girls can also help address climate change

Meghan Markle recently delivered an important message, saying that denying education to girls is like “robbing” the society of its cultural richness.

Markle and husband Prince Harry recently joined Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on a video call and discussed how education plays an important role in the lives of young girls on International Day of the Girl Child, which was observed Sunday.

“When young girls have access to education, everyone wins and everyone succeeds. It just opens the door for societal success at the highest level. It’s not just robbing society of the cultural richness that comes with educating young girls. It’s also robbing these young girls of childhood,” Markle said during the call.

Markle also noted that the dynamics of the community are “shifted” when women take over and talk about important topics such as policy change and legislation.

“What I had realized very early on was that when women have a seat at the table, conversations in terms of policy change, conversations in terms of legislation and the dynamics of the community are all shifted. And when you have to see how you get a woman to embrace her voice, you have to start with where she is a young girl,” Markle said.

Prince Harry also opened how educating girls can also help in tackling climate change.

“The importance of girls’ education to help defer climate change is absolutely critical. So much is at stake when we don’t give a young woman the opportunity to learn and to get an education,” Prince Harry said during the video call.

Their remarks come almost a month after the royal couple donated $130,000 to an organization named CAMFED, a pan-African non-profit that supports the education of young women and girls.

“No better way to celebrate what really matters. Thank you to everyone who donated!” Markle and Harry said after the donation.

International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated annually on Oct. 11 as declared by the United Nations, recognizes girls’ rights and the challenges girls face around the world.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) Photo: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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Prince Harry and Meghan open up about son Archie’s 1st steps and importance of girls’ education in interview with Malala Yousafzai

The couple spoke with Malala Yousafzai on International Day of the Girl.

In a virtual discussion with Nobel Prize laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai on International Day of the Girl, the couple shared that Archie is starting to walk.

“It’s just fantastic because I think in so many ways, we are fortunate to be able to have this time to watch him grow,” added Meghan. “In the absence of COVID, we would be traveling and working more externally and we’d miss a lot of those moments. So I think it’s been a lot of really good family time.”

The couple, who joined the 23-year-old activist virtually from their home in Santa Barbara for the conversation which was shared on YouTube and Malala’s Instagram page, also spoke about the importance of girls’ education, for which Yousafzai has been an outspoken advocate after surviving an assassination attempt in 2012.

“When young girls have access to education, everyone wins and everyone succeeds,” said Meghan when asked by Yousafzai about the role that education played in her life. “So much is at stake when we don’t give a young woman the opportunity to learn and to get an education.”

“There’s over 130 million girls out of education right now before the pandemic and during as well and the numbers are going up,” added Harry. “It worries me, it worries all of us.”

Meghan, who is also an advocate for girls’ education and women’s rights, went on to say how going to school is a luxury for people in many parts of the world, especially girls. She also talked about the need for women to have a seat at the table where decisions are made.

“When women have a seat at the table, conversations in terms of policy change, conversations in terms of legislation, certainly in terms of just the dynamics of community are all shifted,” she said. “When a woman is present at the table, she’s going to be advocating for the entire family as opposed to a patriarchal presence.”

PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain March 9, 2020.

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain March 9, 2020.

“There are millions of girls that need our voice and that need

Girls Have Greater Access to Education than Ever, but Equality Is Still a Long Way Off

LONDON—When Adelaide Tsogo Masenya was six, she switched primary schools. Her local school, Dr Knak Primary School, in the poor Johannesburg township of Alexandra, only taught in her native language of Sepedi. Her new school, Marlboro Gardens Secondary School, had an English-only curriculum. Years later when she asked her mother, a cashier who only had a primary school education, why they had moved her, her mother replied, “You actually asked me to take you to an English school.” Even at such a young age, Masenya, who is now 30, had enough agency to understand the importance of education for her future.

Masenya went on to attend university in Johannesburg—later working both in human resources and as a secondary school teacher. She was also awarded a Chevening scholarship to obtain a master’s degree in education and development at University College London, something that likely wouldn’t have been available if she had not had access to a good recognized university for her undergraduate degree. “Education has taken me to places where I never thought as a young Black girl from Alex I would reach,” she said, sitting in an outdoor café in west London, where she now lives and remotely runs the Tsogo Ya Bokamoso Foundation, an education nongovernmental organization she founded. It focuses on mentoring secondary school girls back in her township. “It has made me live a life of freedom where I am able to provide for my family, I am able to work in any space that I want to, I am able to have a voice and express my rights. Education has made me who I am today.”

Masenya’s tale is unique, but it also exemplifies the stories of millions of girls and young women across the globe who, if given an opportunity for education, can run with it. Through education, they can both better their own lives and benefit their families and communities through better health outcomes and delayed marriage and pregnancy. These are related to better educational outcomes, which, in turn, can lead to improved economic performance for the community as a whole.

Those benefits have been long understood. It was 25 years ago—not far off from when Masenya was asking her mother to change schools—that 189 countries unanimously adopted the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA) to advance the rights of women and girls. One of the aims in the BDPA was to get governments to increase access to education and training for women and girls.

It was the first time that girls’ education was rolled into international development goals in a serious way. In the two and a half decades since, girls’ education has become a mainstay for multilateral organizations, NGOs, private foundations, and individual governments that push forward agendas not only to get more girls enrolled in school but also to tackle some of the intersecting issues that take them out of school, including poverty, cultural norms, and sexuality.

A UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report released on Oct. 9, “A New

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to speak with Malala Yousafzai about COVID-19’s impact on girls’ education

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan MarkleMeghan MarklePrince Harry, Meghan Markle call for end to ‘structural racism’ Meghan Markle says she’s learned not to ‘listen to all the noise out there’ after Trump criticism Trump wishes Prince Harry ‘luck’ with Meghan Markle after remarks about voting in November: ‘Not a fan’ MORE, are scheduled to appear in a video Sunday with activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai to discuss the barriers facing girls in their access to education around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Associated Press, the conversation will be published on the Malala Fund’s YouTube channel and website in celebration of International Day of the Girl Child.

The United Nations declared Oct. 11 as International Day of the Girl in 2011 to promote girls’ rights and address obstacles young women face across the world.

The Malala Fund, founded in 2013 by Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, is an international nonprofit organization partnering with girls education initiatives in various countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil and India. 

Research by the Malala Fund suggests that approximately 20 million secondary-school-aged girls may never return to classrooms once schools reopen after the coronavirus pandemic ends. 

Since moving to California and cutting financial ties with the British monarchy, Prince Harry and Markle have become increasingly vocal on political and social issues, with the couple saying in a September video that U.S. voters need to “reject hate speech” and “misinformation” ahead of the November election. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also published a joint op-ed in London’s Evening Standard last week, calling for an end to “structural racism.” The couple wrote that “untapped potential will never get to be realized” if structural racism continues to exist in Britain and around the world.

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