UNESCO Appoints First Woman Director-General

UNESCO Appoints First Woman Director-General

October 2009 – We were very moved to be present this afternoon when the UNESCO General Conference appointed Irina Gueorguieva Bokova of Bulgaria as the first woman Director-General of UNESCO. In her vision statement, UNESCO in a Globalized World: New Humanism for the 21st century, she states that “the greatest challenge is to lead the world into a new era of peace and humanism, to create more inclusive, just, and equitable societies through sustainable economic and social development, based on science, innovation and new technologies that will serve mankind and will preserve the environment.”


Her goals very much reflect GWI’s own. She believes UNESCO should reaffirm the centrality of education for development and has identified Education for Sustainable Development, based on the interdependence of environment, economy, society and cultural diversity, as the key to a better and more just world of the 21st century. She believes that in countries making progress towards Education for All (EFA), UNESCO should target those still excluded from education, with a special emphasis on women and girls. She plans to encourage all possible venues for South-South cooperation in the area of education, including the exchange of good practices. Gender equality will be high on her agenda. She considers gender equality “to be one of the most important goals, both political and humanistic, of our times. I am strongly motivated to make UNESCO invest more efforts in attaining this objective.”


GWI has congratulated Ms Bokova on her appointment and indicated our desire to continue and strengthen our close partnership with UNESCO under her mandate.

Marianne Bernheim and Françoise Sauvage GWI Representatives to UNESCO

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