The Education Sector of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), in cooperation with the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report), held a symposium on Leadership, Religious Schools and Gender Equality, with the participation of educational policymakers, educational staff, heads of religious institutions and stakeholders in the field of girls’ education.
The Symposium, which was held on Thursday, June 23, 2022, via videoconference, aimed at deepening the discussion on out-of-school children and youth, examining the gender dimensions of non-governmental activism in education, including religion-based education, as well as investigating the effects of religious education on gender relations and whether religious schools encourage or hinder gender equality in education.
Mr. David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Chair of the GEM Report Advisory Board, delivered the opening speech of the Symposium, which took place in conjunction with the launch of UNESCO’s 11th Gender Report.
In her speech, Dr. Barry Koumbou, Head of ICESCO Education Sector, explained that the Organization accords high priority to education as it is the most effective way to achieve peace, progress and prosperity, reviewing ICESCO’s initiatives in the field of development, equality and the dissemination of human values, including the “The Societies We Want” initiative.
She reaffirmed ICESCO’s eagerness to protect and respect the right to education for all, especially girls and women, through educational programs and projects that focus on guaranteeing the right to education, empowering girls and women and educating and rehabilitating them while respecting diversity. Moreover, the Organization is keen on supporting its Member States in developing their educational systems and investing information and communication technology in the educational process, as well as its interest in scientific and applied research, mainly ICESCO Scientific Chairs at universities and specialized academic institutions.
Dr. Koumbou concluded her speech by emphasizing that the focus should not only be on challenges but also on capacities, mainly investing in girls’ and women’s energies and capabilities.