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the educational challenges we face are complex. They include the rise of inequalities, demographic change and climate change.  More seriously, the world is also changing drastically and quickly. If we do not adapt and enhance adults’ skills, they will be left behind. This challenge is at the heart of UNESCO’s global mandate, as reflected in the Education 2030 Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4.  Adult learning and education (ALE), as UNESCO’s Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) very clearly shows, has a crucial role to play in achieving this goal.While participation in ALE has increased overall since 2015, rates vary considerably and progress has been uneven. I am pleased to note the increased participation of women who, in some countries, now represent the majority of adult learners. However, in many parts of the world, women still have limited access to education and employment opportunities. In poor and rural areas especially, low literacy levels mean that women struggle to engage in learning and participate fully in society. Improving access to education for women and girls has been one of my priorities since taking up my role as Director-General of UNESCO. This is why we launched the Her education, our futureinitiative in July 2019 as part of the G7 Education Ministers Meeting.

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