Audrey Azoulay was speaking on Friday in Beijing, China, where she co-chaired the award ceremony for the 2023 UNESCO Prize for the Education of Women and Girls, alongside the agency’s Special Envoy, Professor Peng Liyuan.
Ms. Azoulay said “significant progress” has been made in education since the international community adopted the UN Declaration and Programme of Action for Women’s Rights in 1995.
Today, 90% of girls worldwide has completed primary education, and over 40% has access to higher education.
“This dynamic must continue because gender equality in education is not yet a reality. Currently, two-thirds of illiterate adults in the world are women,” she said.
The UNESCO Prize honours outstanding and innovative contributions made by individuals, institutions, and organizations to advance girls’ and women’s education.
The award, which is presented annually, was established in 2015 and is supported by China. Two projects in Pakistan and China are this year’s recipients.