The State of Qatar deals with the girl child-related issues from a holistic perspective that considers her as a member of a family that could not be empowered without advancing the conditions of all her family members from the health, educational, economic and cultural aspects. In this respect Qatar believes the empowerment of the girl child requires the active support and participation of parents and family members alike.
This came during an address by Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H E Ambassador Nasser bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Nasr, to the panel discussion on elimination of the discrimination against the Girl child.
"At the previous SCW session, we have reached important conclusions regarding the girl child," His Excellency pointed out.
"In that endeavour, we have been motivated by our concern about the discrimination, violence that the girl child has been subject to, and by our recognition that the empowerment of the girl child is a key factor to break the cycle of discrimination and violence," he added.
"In those conclusions, we have also recognized that investing in the development of girls constitutes a priority in itself with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Such an investment has even a multiplier effect particularly on the productivity and effectiveness of the economic growth within the framework of our national and international strategies to eradicate poverty."
H E Al-Nasr said the wise leadership in the State of Qatar recognizes that education is one of the most valuable ways to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women, for that reason we in Qatar believes in the principle of financing to promote education for all, particularly for girls and women, in order to achieve the goal of gender equality.
"International reports have shown that the little progress has been achieved in the eradication of illiteracy in various regions of the world, notably in conflict affected areas, and has created inequalities between men and women," he added.
"At the national level, the State of Qatar was able to achieve equal opportunities and reduce the gender gap at all stages of public education. Supported and guided by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missnad, Consort of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar, the Government has embarked on implementing an ambitious initiative to improve the quality of education, which included creating new educational opportunities for all, and expanding the choices of study in the stage of higher education within the Education City, which includes the most prestigious universities, and providing government grants and scholarships," H E Al-Nasr explained.
"As for international cooperation, Qatar plays an important role in the eradication of illiteracy and the investment in the education infrastructure. Led by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missnad, and in her capacity as Special Envoy of UNESCO for Basic and Higher Education, our country is working towards achieving three objectives, i.e. eradication of illiteracy, rehabilitation and employment to eliminate poverty, marginalization and deprivation of rights."
In this regard, he said "I would like to talk to you about one of the projects launched by the ambitious initiative of Her Highness. The project has begun in December 2004 in Mauritania by establishing the Qatari-Mauritanian Institution for Social Development, which aims to support literacy programmes, provide training and rehabilitation for the benefit of girls and women, provide micro-finance for young people, and establish loan institutions."
The activities of the institution takes place in areas with high rates of poverty, illiteracy and school dropouts. As part of the institution activities, its field program and work plan have been formulated in March 2005.
"To date, 180 education semesters have been administered and provided for in the targeted areas; textbooks of First and Second grades have been drafted with 8,200 copies printed; 180 teachers and 45 supervisors have been contracted; training courses have been organized for the benefit of teachers and supervisors of literacy classes, with the participation of 4,330 people. The scope of this important program will be expanded in the future to meet the needs of sustainable development by linking literacy to vocational training programs. Such approach would subsequently allow for the development of income-generating projects."
"The principle of funding for education upgrading, established by Her Highness, is reflected in the activities of humanitarian organizations in the State of Qatar. The most prominent of those organizations is Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) which has recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with UNESCO to strengthen their cooperation in education projects throughout Asia in order to provide education for all, especially in areas affected by conflict."
"Cooperation programs include the implementation of education programs, micro-finance projects, and skill-building for sustainable development. ROTA will also cooperate with UNESCO to develop and strengthen teaching techniques for refugees in the Middle East and Africa," he pointed out.
"Due to time constraints, I will not be able to dwell on the experience of the Qatar, for this reason we have provided you copies of our statement which included web links to our programs and projects."
"In conclusion I would like to thank the Working Group on Girls for its efforts to hold this important dialogue, which we hope would contribute to mobilize the required support to improve the conditions of the girl child," H E Ambassador Al-Nasr said.
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