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Today, an estimated half a billion women are illiterate. Tens of millions of girls are also unable to access education around the world and 48 per cent of ‘out-of-school’ girls are likely to never enroll in school.

This is depriving them of the knowledge, skills and opportunities to find decent work, participate fully in society and improve their quality of life.

Hiba Qasas, the Chief of the Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response office of UN Women based in Geneva, Switzerland knows a thing or two about helping disadvantaged women.
 
Ms. Qasas served for 17 years in international development, crisis prevention and humanitarian Assistance. Ms. Qasas has been working passionately to advance women’s rights and gender equality across various regions and has designed and managed initiatives providing educational, livelihoods and leadership opportunities benefiting hundreds of thousands of women across crisis countries, in 2017, over 210,000 women benefited from these opportunities in 32 crisis countries.
 
Her latest project, the UN Women’s Second Chance Education and Vocational Learning Programme aims to bring about transformative change in the lives of these vulnerable women and young women. And it’s enabled through the BHP Foundation’s Education Equity Global Signature Program (hyperlink).

The program targets vulnerable women and young women who have missed out on an education. It leverages technology to provide women with access to learning, improves pathways to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities tailored to individual needs as learners and their future as earners.

In order to achieve this, the program seeks to address the barriers that caused the women to drop out of education in the first place; and to break down harmful social norms and barriers preventing women from pursuing meaningful employment and actively participating in society.

Through these efforts, the program works towards enhancing gender-balance policy and fiscal changes at local and national levels, ensuring an enabling environment for long lasting change is created and sustained.

The three-year pilot project aims to unlock opportunities for women and young women across ten diverse countries including Australia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa in an effort to break the cycle of disadvantage.
 
Learn more about the BHP Foundation and their partners as they take on some of the world’s global challenges.

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