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Focus on education and gender equality to empower girls: UNESCO Chief
"Girls' education is at the intersection of two of the most important challenges of our time: education and gender equality. A collective consciousness is rising to ensure that the right to quality education for all girls becomes a reality," stated the UNESCO chief, Audrey Azoulay, on this year's International Day of the Girl Child observed on October 11 while stressing the need for on empowerment of girls through their education.

She added that Girls' education is a fundamental right; it is also a powerful lever for development and drew attention to the recent Commonwealth initiative to establish a high-level platform for girls' education as an additional sign of this new global awareness.

"The challenges are still immense. Worldwide, today, more than 130 million girls of school age are out of school. In addition, of the 600 million adolescent girls who will enter the labour market in the next decade, more than 90% live in developing countries and will work in an informal economy where unpaid work, abuse and exploitation are more prevalent," he further stated.

She urged for 12 years of basic education free of charge for girls along with ensuring school curricula with gender equality, health and sexuality besides integration of girls to science and technology careers, where they are too often underrepresented.

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