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Empowering Change: How the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education is Transforming Lives Worldwide
2024-05-14 ICCSD

During a meeting with Professor Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China and Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s Director-General, on 6 May 2024, representatives from two laureate organizations of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education shared the transformative impacts of the prize on their work.

This event was part of the First Lady’s official visit, marking a decade of her involvement with UNESCO as the Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education.

The Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative (GLAMI), a 2022 laureate, runs two significant programmes: Binti Shupavu ('Courageous Daughters') and Kisa ('Story'). These mentorship initiatives are designed to support girls as they transition between educational levels and pursue their studies.

Anande Nnko, GLAMI’s Executive Director, explained, "A randomized controlled study on the Binti Shupavu programme shows that more girls are returning to school after the end-of-year break." With the prize award, GLAMI has extended its reach to a third rural region in Tanzania, enrolling an additional 1,600 girls in the Binti Shupavu mentorship programme.

NextGen Girls in Technology, which won the prize in 2020, is addressing the gender gap in Sri Lanka’s technology sector by offering coding, robotics, Internet of Things, and AI programmes in local languages. Poornima Meegammana, Shilpa Sayura Foundation’s Youth Programme Manager, highlighted, “The prize funds have allowed us to enhance our resources, extend more scholarships, and significantly broaden our reach—from 1,500 to 7,000 beneficiaries across the island.”

Poornima Meegammana, Shilpa Sayura Foundation’s Youth Programme Manager said, “ The recognition from the award has bolstered local support and partnerships, including collaboration with the Central Province Education Ministry and the private sector. Our goal is ambitious; we aim to reach 20,000 more students in the coming years, supported by our partners and organizations like UNESCO.”