5-6 JUNE 2018 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Advancing gender equality in and through education: the way forward

The transformative power of girls’ education

High-level panel - Auditorium
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
18:00 to 19:30

Significant gender gaps remain in education. Girls living with disabilities, in poverty, and in remote areas face barriers to accessing school. Lack of safety and hygiene facilities and uneven quality teaching can exacerbate girls’ exclusion from education. But education also has the potential to become a catalyst for transformation, equipping individuals with the capability to reduce gender inequality, and can be a driver to leverage goals of the 2030 Agenda. Best practices to support gender equality in and through education will be shared and key questions will be addressed: How to combine support to girls’ education and gender equality in education? How to respond where boys are disadvantaged? How to operationalise the transformative power of education to foster inclusive societies?

Photographer's Credit Youness Med Dowgui pour l’Agence Française de Développement

Key points

  •  The gender imbalance is especially prevalent in education, with boys much, much more likely to go to school than girls
  • It is not just about the quantity of education. We also need to invest in quality education.

  • If we do not educate and empower women, we are leaving half the world’s talent on the table.

  • The education development sector is fragmented. It is well meaning, but needs coordination to work behind the national government.



Gender equality should be a political and business priority, whether viewed from a moral or an economic standpoint. It makes no sense to leave half of humanity’s brainpower – the part represented by women – in a secondary role. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is already well under way, will demand creativity and invention and it would be foolish to ignore the benefits that gender diversity can bring. 

But men are not going to easily surrender the economic and political benefits they currently enjoy because people always struggle to preserve their privileges. And the gender equality that favours men is a form of privilege. There will be resistance to change. For this reason, it is necessary that women encourage men to speak out on gender equality because many men feel uncomfortable with the status quo. Gender equality needs men to champion the cause. The challenges that the world faces need new types of leadership and a new vision of power and authority, one which ch


If we want to find answers to the world’s problems, we need to empower women to be part of the conversation.

Organised by


Rotimy Djossaya
West and Central Africa Regional Director
Plan International
Remy Rioux
Chief Executive Officer
Agence Française de Développement
Alice Albright
Global Partnership for Education
Ernesto Hernandez Otero
Young Leader - El Salvador
Marie Pierre France Georgette Poirier
Regional Director
UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund)
Stefano Manservisi
European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
Daouda Mamadou Marthe
Minister of Primary Education, Literacy, Promotion of National Languages and Civic Education