“Better Life, Better Future” global partnership for girls’ and women’s education


A teacher and her students at a school in Mogadishu Somalia, 2013
© UNESCO Somalia/Kate Holt

UNESCO Global partnership for girls’ and women’s education

UNESCO launched the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, known as “Better Life, Better Future”, in 2011 guided by the belief that educating girls and women can break the cycle of poverty and foster greater social justice. The Partnership seeks to increase learning opportunities for adolescent girls and women and to find solutions to some of the biggest obstacles to their education. Particular emphasis is given to expanding and improving the quality of education for girls and women at the secondary level and in the area of literacy, to take successful initiatives to scale, to replicate good practices and to engage new actors.

Why a Partnership on Girls' and Women's Education?

For many, being born a girl is a life sentence of inequality and injustice. Girls and women are subject to multiple forms of discrimination in all spheres of their lives, including education and can become trapped in a vicious circle. They are less likely to go to school; their performance through education is often unequal compared to that of boys and men; and in turn, these missed opportunities generate more discrimination.

In order to increase awareness, galvanize new resources, and gain momentum for girls’ and women’s education innovative partnerships are needed with strengths in funding, expertise, and outreach.

The Partnership Addresses the Two Weakest Links

  • Secondary education

Girls face a distinctive set of barriers to learning, especially when they reach post-primary levels of education. At that age, girls drop out of school for many reasons: early marriage and pregnancy, violence in and around schools, poverty, household chores, lack of gender-sensitive learning contents and environments, etc. Targeted measures are needed to get girls to school, and keep them in school, until they complete the full course of education.

  • Literacy

Illiteracy has a female face. It is a major obstacle to women’s empowerment. Women are often the poorest and most marginalized in social, political and economic domains. It is also a reflection of gender discrimination and a factor in reproducing female poverty and keeping girls out of school, Literacy programmes that are sensitive and adapted to the specific needs of girls and women and the context can lead to transformative change.

Project Portfolio  

How you can get involved?

Whether you represent governments, bilateral or multilateral organizations, private sector, foundations, media, civil society organizations, or NGOs, etc., you can invest in improving the lives and futures of girls and women in the most underprivileged settings. UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education provides a solid platform, bringing together UNESCO’s unique experience in education and its extended multi-sectoral network.

Find out how you can become a partner and support UNESCO’s efforts to make the right to education a reality for all girls and women:

Education Sector
7 place Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP, France
Email: gender.ed@unesco.org

Download the brochure

Better Life, Better Future: UNESCO Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education