This oversight begs the following question: Can gender and education issues at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels and beyond be tackled without paying attention to interventions in the early years? Policymakers and educators worldwide should not underestimate the importance of early childhood education on the development of deeply engrained gender norms.
Caroline Manion Access to and completion of a quality basic education is widely accepted as a fundamental human right and a key way for citizens to gain valued knowledge, including learning the skills and attitudes necessary to lead an active, engaged and productive life. The success of this movement and the inclusion of education as a goal and indicator in the Millennium Development Goals framework, and more recent Sustainable Development Goals agenda, attest to the continued importance of education as a key driver of national and global development and security.
Moreover, beyond the challenge of ensuring that all children have the opportunity to attend school is the matter of how schooling is experienced differently by boys and girls and what this means for gender equality in terms of retention, attainment, quality learning and educational outcomes.
Despite differences in socioeconomic, cultural, religious and political contexts, gender inequality in education is a recognized global phenomenon and as such represents a shared challenge amongst nations of the world.
Before discussing contemporary gender in equality trends and challenges and the available policy responses, I first offer a The importance of sex and gender education conceptual discussion of key analytical and measurement terms.
When we speak of sex differences, we are referring to the biological differences between males and females; when we speak of gender differences, we are referring to the socially defined and enacted differences between women and men in terms of characteristics, capabilities, roles, etc.
We learn our gender roles through socialization practices in our families, communities and schools. The concept of gender stereotype refers to attitudes and beliefs about the characteristics associated with, and the activities appropriate to, men or women in a given community or society.
Gender bias occurs when people make assumptions or stereotypes about behaviours, abilities or preferences based on gender. Yet, despite the deeply entrenched and taken-for-granted nature of gender, recognizing that gender roles and gender identities are socially rooted and performed brings us to the powerful conclusion that gender norms and values can and do change.
The significance of this realization cannot be over-stated as it suggests that we have the power to address gender-based inequalities in schools and through schooling. Gender equality, emphasizing sameness, refers to the provision of equal conditions, treatment and opportunity for both men and women to realize their full potential, whereas gender equity emphasizes difference and refers to the process of being fair to men and women.
What gender equity is and how to achieve it involves value judgments, understanding of the different experiences, positions and needs of different women and men in a society, and the recognition that treating individuals or groups equitably sometimes means treating them differently.
Gender in equality in education: Close to three quarters of the countries with fewer than 90 girls for every boys enrolled in primary education were in the sub-Saharan Africa regionibid. The situation is worse at the secondary level, with the average GPI only increasing from 0.
And again, almost three quarters of the countries considered to be far from achieving gender parity at the secondary level are in the SSA region. The challenges to achieving gender equality in education have been well documented over the past decades and continue to persist in the contemporary moment.
With respect to supply-side factors of gender in equalities in education, we know that school and classroom cultures, teachers, teaching and learning materials, the physical condition of schools, and the overall policy landscape e. Linking school and society, or supply- and demand-side barriers, gender-based violence GBV has become an urgent policy concern over the past decade: GBV has a high social and economic price in terms of parents not wanting to send their children to school, in that it often leads to dropping out of school, causes psychological trauma with long-term and unpredictable consequences, in addition to pregnancy, disease and injury6,7.
Policy responses for the promotion and achievement of gender equality in education There are five main principles or patterns underpinning successful gender equality in education approaches8. First, partnership approaches that bring together governments, donors and civil society are key.
Third, there is a need for strategic and evidence-based policy advocacy and support for continued research, monitoring and evaluation. Fourth, there must be commitment on the part of governments and their partners to the promotion of gender equality in education.
Fifth, governments, with the support of donors and civil society, must ensure adequate and sustainable education financing ibid.
Research suggests that successful policies address change and drive action in three main interconnected areas: The following offers a brief discussion of exemplars of policy responses associated with each of the preceding action areas.
The building of more schools and the recruitment of more teachers, including more women teachers to act as positive role models, is one relatively straightforward way governments can support educational access.When Sex Ed Discusses Gender Inequality, Sex Gets Safer.
“Comprehensive sex education” is a vague term. while 19 “require that instruction on the importance of engaging in sexual.
California followed suit in , with its own Healthy Youth Act, the first in the country to not only require sex education in public schools cover both sexual orientation and gender identity but.
Sex differences in education are a type of sex discrimination in the education system affecting both men and women during and after their educational experiences. Men are more likely to be literate on a global average, although women are more prevalent at in some countries. Sex and Gender Sex and gender make up one of the most basic functions in our society.
Gender helps delineate tasks and how we refer to people, and is reinforced for us throughout our lives (Lorber ).
Gender interacts with sex in varying ways (Disch ). Sex education is the provision of information about bodily development, sex, sexuality, and relationships, along with skills-building to help young people communicate about and make informed decisions regarding sex and their sexual health.
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Gender equality would help get rid of such issues and ensure a better life for the oppressed sex. End to stereotyping In most cultures across the world, men are seen as the primary caregivers, while women are traditionally the homemakers.