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Education and gender equality

This topic provides information related to gender equality and education.

Gender-based discrimination in education is both a cause and a consequence of deep-rooted disparities in society. Poverty, geographical isolation, ethnic background, disability, traditional attitudes about their status and role all undermine the ability of women and girls to exercise their rights. Harmful practices such as early marriage and pregnancy, gender-based violence, and discriminatory education laws, policies, contents and practices still prevent millions of girls form enrolling, completing and benefiting from education.

Gender must therefore be integrated at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education, in formal and non-formal settings and from planning infrastructure to training teachers.

Dakar Framework for Action for providing quality Education for All by 2015

Dakar Framework for Action for providing quality Education for All by 2015, besides primary education, focusses on literacy goals, gender equality and quality concerns. The Dakar Framework of Action listed the following six specific goals to be achieved by all countries.

  1. Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
  2. Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.
  3. Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes.
  4. Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literary by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.
  5. Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
  6. Improving every aspect of the quality of education, and ensuring their excellence so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

UNESCO and its strategies for promoting equal opportunities in education

UNESCO works to promote equal opportunities to quality learning, free from gender-based or other forms of discrimination. In particular, UNESCO:

  • mobilizes additional funds through the ‘Better Life Better Future’ initiative, aimed at expanding learning opportunities for girls and women
  • seeks to address obstacles to learning such as gender-based violence and HIV & AIDS promotes gender equality in national education laws, policies and plans
  • seeks to expand access to learning opportunities, in particular for girls and women, in both formal and non-formal education
  • develops the capacity of education policy-makers, planners, teachers and other education personnel regarding gender-sensitive approaches
  • supports countries to make education content gender-sensitive and free from discrimination

Global partnership for girls’ and women’s education by UNESCO

UNESCO launched the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, known as ‘Better Life, Better Future’, in 2011 guided by the conviction that educating girls and women can break the cycle of poverty and foster greater social justice. The Partnership seeks to increase learning opportunities for adolescent girls and women and to find solutions to some of the biggest challenges and obstacles to their education. Particular emphasis is given to expanding and improving the quality of education for girls and women at the secondary level and in the area of literacy, to take successful initiatives to scale, to replicate good practice and to engage new actors.

For more information about UNESCO's initiatives, visit http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/gender-and-education/ .

UN Girls' Education Initiative

The initiative works with the vision - “A world where all girls and boys are empowered through quality education to realize their full potential and contribute to transforming societies where gender equality becomes a reality.” It is a partnership of organizations committed to narrowing the gender gap in primary and secondary education. It also seeks to ensure that, by 2015, all children complete primary schooling, with girls and boys having equal access to free, quality education.

Related Resources

  1. Mind the Gap - An online tool highlighting the progress and pitfalls of girls' and women's education around the world.
  2. Teaching and Learning - Achieving quality for all - report - Education for All Global Monitoring report - 2013-14
  3. Infographic on why girls' education matters

Source : http://www.ungei.org/index.php

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