Human Rights Council Thirty-fifth session

6–23 June 2017

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 22 June 2017

35/22. Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by

every girl

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the human right of everyone to education, which is enshrined in, inter

alia, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international human

rights instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

Recalling all relevant Human Rights Council resolutions, in particular resolution

32/20 of 1 July 2016,

Recognizing that the full realization of the right to education for all is an essential

condition for achieving sustainable development, and in this regard welcoming the 2030

Agenda for Sustainable Development,1 including its Sustainable Development Goal 4 on

ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning

opportunities for all, underlining the commitment therein to eliminate gender disparities in

education, and Goal 5 on achieving gender equality, and empowering all women and girls,

Recalling the need to ensure that all children enjoy the right to education and are

ensured equal access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary

education so that they are ready for primary education, the need to eliminate gender

disparities in education by 2030, and the need to build and upgrade education facilities that

are child-, disability- and gender-sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive,

accessible and effective learning environments for all,

1 General Assembly resolution 70/1.

Recalling also the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030: Towards inclusive and

equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all, adopted at the World Education

Forum 2015, held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 19 to 22 May 2015,

Noting with appreciation the work carried out by all relevant organs, bodies and

mechanisms of the United Nations system within their respective mandates, in particular

the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and

Cultural Organization, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the

Empowerment of Women, the United Nations Population Fund and the Office of the United

Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the efforts of organizations and

civil society to promote girls’ full and equal enjoyment of the right to education,

Deeply concerned that humanitarian crises and armed conflicts are depriving

children of access to education, especially girls, who are two and a half times more likely to

be out of school than boys in these settings,

Strongly condemning attacks on and abductions of girls because they attend or wish

to attend school, deploring all attacks, including terrorist attacks, on educational institutions

as such, their students and staff, and recognizing the negative impact that such attacks have

on the progressive realization of the right to education, in particular of girls, while

recognizing the obligations of States to provide an enabling and secure environment to

ensure the safety of schools,

Reaffirming the equal right of every child to education without discrimination of any

kind, and noting the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination often faced by girls,

Stressing the importance of the contribution of parliamentarians, national human

rights institutions and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to the equal

enjoyment of the right to education by every girl,

Recognizing that gender stereotypes about the role of women and girls underpin the

obstacles to girls’ equal enjoyment of quality education, and that stereotypes are also

perpetuated in school curricula and materials,

Determined to give full effect to the right to education and to guarantee that this

right is recognized and exercised without discrimination of any kind,

Recognizing that education is a multiplier right that empowers women and girls to

claim their human rights, including the right to participate in public life, as well as

economic, social and cultural life, and to participate fully in the making of decisions that

shape society,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the United Nations High

Commissioner for Human Rights, prepared pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution


2. Urges all States:

(a) To strengthen and intensify their efforts to take deliberate, concrete and

targeted steps to fully realize the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, to

eliminate legal, administrative, financial, structural, social and cultural barriers that hinder

girls’ equal enjoyment of the right to education, and to appropriately ensure non-

discrimination in the admission of girls and boys at all levels of education, particularly

when designing policy measures, programmes and resource allocations;

2 A/HRC/35/11.

(b) To strengthen and intensify their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of

school-related violence against girls, and to hold those responsible for those acts


(c) To review, repeal and eliminate, as appropriate, laws, policies and practices

that can negatively affect the right to education of every girl, including discriminatory laws,

policies, practices, customs, traditions or religious considerations, financial barriers,

violence, including sexual violence in the school environment, the worst forms of child

labour, and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation, gender stereotypes, child,

early and forced marriage and early pregnancy;

(d) To eliminate gender stereotypes from all educational processes, practices and

teaching materials, including through periodic review and revision of school curricula,

textbooks, programmes and teaching methods, and the inclusion of human rights education,

including on gender equality and non-discrimination, as part of the mandatory school

curriculum, and to ensure that girls are encouraged to freely choose non-traditional fields of


(e) To provide adequate access to water and safe, separate and quality sanitation

facilities in schools, and to promote appropriate hygiene behaviour, since school water

supply and sanitation are essential elements of basic education;

3. Calls upon States to place enhanced emphasis on quality education for girls,

including catch-up, non-formal and literacy education for those who did not receive formal

education, and special initiatives for keeping girls in school through post-primary

education, and to promote access to skills and entrepreneurship training for girls;

4. Encourages States to support girls’ access to skills development by

expanding the scope of education and training opportunities ranging from basic digital

fluency to advanced technical skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,

and in information and communications technology;

5. Also encourages States to increase investments and international cooperation

to provide equal opportunity for all girls to complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality

early childhood, primary and secondary education, including by scaling up and

strengthening national, regional and international initiatives, as appropriate, such as the

United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, the Out-of-School Children Initiative, the

Global Partnership for Education and the United Nations Population Fund-United Nations

Children’s Fund Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, and to

explore additional innovative mechanisms based on models combining public and private

resources while ensuring that all education providers are qualified and adequately trained

and give due respect to human rights, including the right to education;

6. Encourages international cooperation to complement the efforts of States in

matters relating to education, in particular with a view to effectively eliminating all forms

of discrimination and stereotypes in education, and supports the efforts of the United

Nations system in this regard;

7. Reaffirms the importance of continuing to develop and enhance standards and

methodologies at the national, regional and international levels to improve the collection,

analysis and dissemination of gender statistics and data on access to education, in particular

access to universal primary education; the gender gap in youth literacy; the number of out-

of-school children, and others;

8. Urges States to support the efforts of developing countries, in particular least

developed countries, to progressively realize the right to education, in particular ensuring

the right to education of every girl through allocating appropriate resources, including

financial and technical resources, in support of country-led national education plans;

9. Reaffirms the importance of enhancing the dialogue between the United

Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organization, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and other partners that

pursue the goals of girls’ education with a view to promoting further the right to education

of girls in the operational activities of the United Nations system;

10. Encourages the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate

holders to give the required attention to realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to

education by every girl in carrying out their mandates and in their reporting, and to work

collectively towards its realization through practical and efficient steps;

11. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

36th meeting

22 June 2017

[Adopted without a vote.]