Headlines Around the World: The United Nations General Assembly and Girls’ Education

Last week in New York City, the UN held the 73rd session of the General Assembly. Though many headlines focused on stories like diplomats laughing at Donald Trump’s claims, education featured prominently in many sessions. “Education really came of age at this year’s UNGA,” Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly,  Save the Children ’s head of education policy and advocacy was quoted as saying in Devex ’s review of education stories. That review described a series of announcements of new investments as well as a high level meeting on refugee education. Among education issues, a renewed focus on girls education emerged as the most prominent theme.

Canada, Kenya, Niger, Jordan, France, and the UK released a joint statement on ensuring that the world “leave no girl behind

Coverage focused both on speeches that reinforced the message and the potential impact of new initiatives for girls’ education:

  • French President Macron focused part of his speech on girls’ education
  • British Prime Minister May spoke at an event for girls’ education
  • An article from Kenya about educational equality and conflict
  • Another article focusing on the British Foreign Secretary and Kenyan Education Minister co-chairing the platform for girls’ education meeting
  • NGOs and other organizations lauded the commitment as a “milestone

Of course, other headlines remind that nations, multilaterals, and organizations have already taken up many campaigns for girls’ education in recent decades. Furthermore, headlines on girls’ education have not exclusively focused on the commitments coming from UNGA. Just yesterday, for example, it was reported that $600 million of World Bank money intended for girls’ education had not been used.


For more information, we have provided some organizations focused on girls’ education:

A list of organizations working specifically in India

A broader list of organizations around the world

The UN’s girls’ education initiative

The Plan International page for girls’ education, which includes facts and ways to take action




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