Peng Liyuan, the wife of President Xi Jinping, said the education of girls and women is a"noble and significant" pursuit.
Providing women and men with the same opportunities to reach their full potential is a keyto promoting social development, gender equality and sustainable development of society,to which education plays a crucial role, Peng said.
Peng made the remarks during an exclusive interview with the UNESCO Couriermagazine.
She was invited in 2014 to become the UNESCO special envoy for the advancement ofgirls' and women's education by Irina Bokova, the organization's director-general.
Peng said she recognized both the great honor and immense responsibilities when Bokovagave her the special envoy certificate in March 2014 at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris.
"Education equality includes equality for opportunity, process and results. What we fightfor is to make sure that women have the same opportunities to go to school as their malecounterparts, that they are treated equally in education and that they have the sameaccess to higher education, employment and social recognition as men do," Peng said. "Iwould like to do whatever I can to reach this goal."
Peng said she has visited many schools, institutions for the young, and organizations forwomen's development in African and Asian countries during her more than two years ofservice as the special envoy. She hoped to get closer to the reality, learn from their wisdomand strength, and share experience.
The Chinese government has proposed and sponsored the establishment of the UNESCOPrize for Girls' and Women's Education, for individuals and organizations that contribute tothat goal. Last year, Peng and Bokova jointly presented the awards to two winners fromIndonesia and Zimbabwe at the first official ceremony in Beijing.
Peng said the award is the first of its kind and by far the only one like it under UNESCO. Itaims to encourage more people to devote themselves to the education of girls and womenby rewarding individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions inthe area.
Peng said it is a basic national education policy in China to promote education equality andgrant everyone with equal access to education. China ensures girls' and women's right foreducation via various means, such as laws and regulations, financial aid and free food forstudents in poverty.
Women in China have made noticeable progress in self-choice and in personaldevelopment, Peng said.
Meanwhile, China is actively trying to spread international cooperation and aid ineducation. In 2015, Xi said at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality andWomen's Empowerment at the United Nations headquarters in New York that the Chinesegovernment will donate $10 million to the UN for the protection and enhancement ofwomen's rights.
The Chinese government also has set up funds and awards at UNESCO to supportdeveloping countries in promoting literacy campaigns and teachers' training programs tofacilitate education for girls and women.
Talking about teaching, Peng, who is a music professor, said a good teacher should bediligent and good at learning, should always have the drive and motivation for creativity,and should keep improving their abilities.
He or she should know how to use culture, aesthetics and arts to help students developgood personalities. They also should be an example for students to see what a kind andgenerous soul ought to be like, so the students can be better prepared for society, Pengsaid.
"I will carry out my duty as the special envoy to support UNESCO in improving educationfor girls and women all over the world. I will do whatever I can," Peng said.