The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation offers the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education in 2020.

Gender equality in education is a basic right and a prerequisite to building inclusive societies. Although notable progress has been made over the last 20 years, 16 million girls will never set foot in a classroom (UNESCO Institute for Statistics).

The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education honours outstanding and innovative contributions made by individuals, institutions and organizations to advance girls’ and women’s education. It is the first UNESCO Prize of this nature and is unique in showcasing successful projects that improve and promote the educational prospects of girls and women and in turn, the quality of their lives.

The Director-General of UNESCO awarded the Prize for the first time in 2016.

Established by UNESCO’s Executive Board, the Prize directly contributes to the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda, particularly SDG 4 on education and 5 on gender equality. It also supports UNESCO’s global priorities included in the Medium-term Strategy 2014-2021 and the Gender Equality Action Plan 2014-2021 (GEAP II), as well as the UNESCO Strategy for Gender Equality in and through Education (2019-2025).

Worth of Award

Funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Prize is conferred annually to two laureates and consists of an award of US $50,000 each to help further their work in the area of girls’ and women’s education.


  • Individuals, institutions or organizations advancing girls’ and women’s education through an established and ongoing project or program which has been running for at least 2 years.
  • The two Prize laureates will be selected by UNESCO’s Director-General on the basis of

    recommendations made by the independent International Jury of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education, consisting of five experts from all geographical regions.
  • The nominations will only be considered if the project/programme:
  • has a clear focus on advancing girls’ and women’s education, and the promotion of gender

    equality in and through education, and contributes to one or more of the five priority areas of the Prize:
  • Participation: Supporting girls to transition from primary education to lower-secondary

    education and to complete full basic education
  • Literacy: Supporting adolescent girls and young women to acquire literacy skills
  • Environment: Supporting the creation of a gender-responsive and safe teaching-learning

  • Teachers: Engaging teachers to be change agents with gender-responsive teaching

    attitudes and practices
  • Skills: Supporting girls and women to acquire knowledge/skills for life and work
  • has already been running for at least two years; and
  • shows evidence that it may be replicable, scalable and/or provide significant learning potential for initiatives in other contexts

How to Apply

  • The nomination is online through their website
  • Governments of UNESCO Member States via their Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, and non- governmental organizations in official partnership with UNESCO can make up to 3 nominations.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.

Deadline: Nominations close May 26, 2021.

Click here for more details and to apply