Throughout the guide suggestions of activities to help groups generate discussion and explore the issues addressed in more depth are given the guide is accompanied by a set of worksheets that correspond to these activities. April 2008.
In 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand, at the World Conference on Education for All, world leaders agreed that “the most urgent priority [was] to ensure access to, and improve the quality of, education for girls and women, and to remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation”. A deadline was set: universal access to, and completion of, primary education should be achieved by the year 2000.
By the year 2000, this “urgent priority” had not been realized. In the World Education Forum, held that year in Dakar, new deadlines were fixed: all children should complete “compulsory primary education of good quality” by 2015, and participants once again expressed specific concern about gender disparities in education, pledging to eliminate them by 2005. At the UN’s Millennium Summit, heads of state adopted these targets as two of the eight Millennium Development Goals for reducing world poverty.
The Global Campaign for Education, an international coalition of NGOs and trade unions, states that “because education is so crucial to improving health and increasing incomes, the girls’ education goal has a domino effect on all of the other Millennium Development Goals. Failure to achieve it will set us up for almost certain failure on the other MDGs”.
Some experts claim that there is “no chance whatsoever” of reaching the 2005 target.
Some civil society organizations, however, are working hard to prove otherwise. The Global Campaign for Education claims that if donors and governments fulfil their commitment this objective can be achieved. “The problem is not over-ambition, but lack of ambition,” they say. And they are carrying out an international campaign to raise awareness and pressure governments.
Poverty is one of the major factors that undermines girls’ right to education. School fees and expenses relating to transport, clothing and books widen the gender gap: as families cannot afford to educate all their children, girls are the ones that stay at home, helping with household chores. Other barriers have to do with the sexual harassment to which girls and women are exposed, both on the way to and inside schools, early marriage and adolescent pregnancy.
What is the most effective tool for combating these problems? Education. According the Global Campaign for Education, in order to stop this poverty wheel, a comprehensive package of interventions backed by clear policy aims is needed.
The governments of the world, meeting at Jomtien in Thailand in 1990, made a commitment to achieving basic education for all, with special emphasis on improving access to primary schools and closing the gender gap.
Discrimination hides in educational environments when access to schools is made universal under the assumption that we are all equal. This concept has been used by several women authors to analyze the relationship between gender and race and has been debated by women to disclose the fact that many forms of combined, double or multiple discrimination are unnoticed or not openly discussed. By Ximena Machicao. December 2006.
For every 100 boys who do not attend primary school, there are 117 girls who do not attend. Women represent 67% of the
world’s illiterate people and only 16.6% of the world’s legislators. What is more, they do not receive equal pay to men for
doing the same work. Acknowledging that gender relations relegate women to second class status is the first step in creating
policies and political will to put an end to these inequities says the Social Watch report 2006. (PDF document). October 2006.
According to this graphic, many regions are on track to achieve the target before 2015, but lower levels of achievement and progress persist in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Asia and Southern Asia (pdf format).
This paper analyzes the issue in the light of the World Bank's perspective. While it has recommendations similar to many NGO demands, it also recommends privatizations, which civil society strongly opposes (pdf format, 19 pp).
Both goals 2 and 3 are related to the gender gap in education. Target 3 states that states must “ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling”. Target 4 talks about the elimination of “gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and to all levels of education no later than 2015”.
"Giving girls an education is one of the best ways to reduce poverty, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS but unless world leaders act now, they will condemn yet another generation to poverty. The UN Summit will be make or break. World leaders must show real commitment to abolishing school fees as a crucial step to making this a reality." September 2005.
This report is designed to facilitate consultation with civil society, experts and the international community on the priorities and strategies of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education for girls, in preparation of the final report to be completed in December 2004. Pdf format.
Schools and other institutions should be made more responsive to women, including ensuring that schools transform rather than reproduce prejudice and discrimination. This is according to the summary report of an e-discussion among NGOs and civil society groups about the interim report on achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education, which was prepared in early 2004 by the Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality. Doc format.
The Millennium Development Goals set a deadline of 2015 for the international community to ensure that all children will be able to complete primary school. According to a recent World Bank study, however, only a quarter of developing countries have achieved this. ID21’s Education section is dedicated this issue, with a special focus on girls’ education. May 2004.
According to the UNICEF report “The state of the world’s children 2004”, without accelerated action to get more girls into school over the next two years, the Millennium Development Goals would simply not be reached.
As this table shows, while gender disparity is not a serious concern in most of the Latin America/Caribbean and Eastern Asia/Pacific countries, it remains one in many Arab States, sub-Saharan African and Southern Asian countries.
The paper: "Working with the media on gender and education: A guide for training and planning" is designed to help education and gender campaigners, and organisations and coalitions, work more effectively with the media to promote gender-equitable education. April 2008.
This report focuses on the problem of sexual violence in educational institutions. It is an abuse of rights, a serious obstacle to educational efforts to promote safe, healthy and equitable relationships, an impediment to equal access to education, and a catalyst for a lifetime of gender violence in the home and sexual harassment in the workplace.
On a daily basis in schools across the nation, South African girls of every race and economic class encounter sexual violence and harassment at school that impedes their realization of the right to education.
This paper addresses the sexual harassment faced by women in schools, colleges, and the work place. It describes how this type of harassment, combined with teenage pregnancy, early marriage, son preference, and poverty, can bully women out of continuing their education and out of the work place.
Decades of violent enforcement of apartheid policies have fuelled a culture of violence in South Africa. Girls are raped, sexually abused, harassed and assaulted at school by male classmates and male teachers.
Operation Unicef Lifeline South Sudan and the Bangladeshi NGO BRAC launched the educational programme “Village Girls School Project” to improve girls' access to education in rural areas where currently little or no such opportunity exists for them.
Girls themselves should be involved in working out solutions as well as taking action on issues that affect their education and their lives in general. This issue of FAWE’s magazine collects African girls’ testimonies (pdf format).
This issue of FAWE News looks at the problem of wastage in education under this theme. It reviews strategies and promising interventions that various governments and organizations are putting in place to combat dropout (pdf format).
There are many men out there who are strong supporters of the cause of educating girls. In this issue of FAWE News, they look at a cross section of Sub Saharan Africa men from all ranks and walks of life to highlight what they have done to contribute to the promotion of girls’ education (pdf format).
This report of the workshop, which was held in Indonesia, contains, apart from the information on the event, comprehensive sections on basic education, lifelong learning and gender equality (pdf format).
In this study the author presents and discusses the principal tendencies of illiteracy in Brazil as observed through longitudinal demographic census analysis. This pursues one principal argument: gender and race affect the educational opportunities open to the Brazilian population differently.
While the world’s attention has been focused on the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa, no serious attention has been given to the effects of HIV/AIDS on girls and girls’ education.
According to the Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE), sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world which is in serious danger of not fulfilling a target set under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2015. This and other things were discussed in a meeting that was held in Nairobi. Junio 2004. June 2004.
There is no doubt that closing the education gap between females and males by educating women and girls has direct developmental benefits and plays a key part in reducing poverty. However, in Zimbabwe, this could not be achieved mainly due to de Structural Adjustment Programmes promoted by international financial institutions.
This organization works with the long-term issue of poverty alleviation and empowerment of the poor, especially women, in the rural areas of Bangladesh. Its innovative broad-scale education programmes provide non-formal education to the rural poor, especially girls.
Global partnership of adult learners and adult educators and their organizations, and others who promote the use of adult learning as a tool for informed participation of people and sustainable development.
One section of this document (p. 68) examines progress on the gender equity goal throughout the past decade and focuses on gender parity in primary and secondary education, with a concluding discussion about the gender balance among teachers (pdf format).
This conference, held in Jomtien, Thailand, reaffirmed the right to education for all and set forth as the most urgent priority striving “to ensure access to and improve the quality of education for girls and women, and to remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation” (Article 3, World Declaration on Education for All).
By adopting this document, the 1,100 participants of the Forum reaffirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All. In 2005, all countries that are signatories to it will be expected to have achieved the goal of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education.
According to this report, “Jomtien succeeded in creating a spirit of a fresh start, of hope, of "this time it'll work". In Dakar, both agencies and national delegations inevitably arrived with a feeling of failure, of a task half done”.
Written eighteen months after Dakar, the purpose of the report is to monitor the progress that countries and EFA partners have made towards achieving the Dakar goals, as well as to highlight important trends and findings and to point to future actions. It has a section on elimination of gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 and achieving gender equality in education by 2015.
This article, by a Global Campaign for Education representative on the report’s editorial board, stresses that despite the great amount of vital information that the report presents, there are a number of critical problems with its data and analysis that undermine its value (pdf format).
According to the latest Education For All Global Monitoring Report released on 5 November 2003, girls continue to face sharp discrimination in access to school in a majority of developing countries. This report is part of the follow-up to the Dakar World Education Forum.
This book provides a useful contribution to our understanding of the important topic of partnerships, which is rapidly becoming the most desirable as well as the most elusive variable in development work (pdf version). February 2005.
65 million girls are being denied their right to education. And far too little is being done about it. The answer? Girls’ enrolments could grow at the rate required to reach the targets, if all poor countries made basic education free and introduced targeted subsidies to help girls in the poorest families and schools; and if all rich countries kept their promise to increase their aid to education (pdf format).
According to a report by Save the Children, the more effective way to prevent adolescent maternal mortality is to promote girl’s education. More than one million infants and an estimated 70,000 adolescent mothers die each year in developing countries because young girls are marrying and having children before they are ready for parenthood. May 2004.
According to this report, “the factors militating against girls' full participation in education must be removed so as to increase the number of girls that acquire a secondary and a post-secondary education as well as acquire appropriate skills for development” (pdf format).
Although study after study has demonstrated that providing education for girls is one of the key strategies for breaking the cycle of poverty, girls still are the frontline casualties of this situation (pdf format, 12 pp).
This report highlights countries that are succeeding – and failing – in educating their girls. It calls attention to areas where greater investments are needed and shows that
effective strategies are working, even in some of the poorest places on Earth. (PDF document). March 2006.
In high prevalence countries, girls’ enrolment in school has decreased in the past decade. Girls are the first to be pulled out of school to care for sick relatives or to look after younger siblings. HIV/AIDS is threatening recent positive gains in basic education and disproportionately affecting girls' primary school enrolments. Published in February 2004.
World leaders have promised to close the gender gap in education by 2005. The GCE is calling on world leaders to take immediate steps to open the doors of learning to women and girls. As part of this ongoing campaign, the GCE organized "The World's Biggest Lesson" on 9 April 2003.
On 9 April 2003 more than 1 million people in over 100 countries took part in the world’s biggest lesson ever. The lesson, which took place in different venues around the world, was one that aimed to attract the attention of world leaders: girls and women need an equal chance to learn.