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Strengthening the Crossroads : Education, Gender Equality and Economic Development

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  1. Strengthening the Crossroads: Education, Gender Equality and Economic Development Putu M. Kamayana Country Director, Cambodia Resident Mission Asian Development Bank

  2. What is a country’s Crisis Vulnerability and Coping Capacity? There are two main factors that determine the extent to which a country’s growth and MDG achievement are threatened by the global economic crisis: • Degree of integration into the global economy • Capacity to cope with the effects of any crisis

  3. Millennium Development Goals at Risk • The effects of the global economic crisis was first felt in higher unemployment, however the effects have rippled through Asian economies. • Asian economies have seen a reduction in employment and job creation, as well as cuts in household and government spending which have lead to higher levels of poverty and threaten standards of education and health. • Such a downturn has consequences for the achievement of the MDGs.

  4. Countries Facing the Greatest Risk and Effect on Education and Gender Equity • The countries that face the greatest risk in meeting the MDGs for ending poverty and hunger, reducing child malnutrition, and achieving Universal Primary Education include: Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Nepal. • Though children enroll in primary education, they do not complete due to issues of poverty that are compounded during a crisis. • Vulnerable groups have a heavy burden to bear as a result of a crisis. • Women are among those who are hurt the most.

  5. Effects of Global Economic Crisis on Women The case of women in Cambodia… • Women dominate the workforce in garment factories. • Between 2008-2009 63,000 women workers (18% of the workforce) in garment factories were laid off due to closure of 50 factories. • Those that stayed in the workforce earned 18% less in real terms during that time. • Remittances to families in rural areas fell by 16%. • Consequences: increasing migration for work, reduced food consumption, and reduced expenditure on healthcare.

  6. Crossroads Empowerment of Women Economic Development Education and Skills Training

  7. Investments in Education and Returns to the Economy • Each year of schooling increases individual output by 4-7%. • Countries that improve literacy rates by 20-30% have seen increases in GDP of 8-16%. • Educating girls yields a higher rate of return than any other investment. • In 2005, only 59 of 181 countries had achieved gender parity in their gross enrolment rates for both primary and secondary education. • Women experience an 18% return on secondary education, versus 14% for boys.

  8. TVET: Providing Skills for Economic Growth • TVET sector presents opportunities for new innovative strategies to increase the number of young women accessing secondary and post-secondary education. • Only 20% of girls of the appropriate age in LDCs attend secondary school at all, let alone in TVET programs. • In Cambodia, it is even lower at 11% (UNICEF, 2007).

  9. Cambodia: Education & Training Development Progress… • 95% net enrollment ratio for primary education. • Increased total gross enrollment ratio for secondary education (58% for lower secondary and 30% for upper secondary). • Gender parity achieved in enrollments at primary and secondary levels. Challenges… • Completion of Grade 6 is leveling off and beginning to fall. • Secondary school dropout is a major problem to achieving EFA (20% lower secondary dropout rate and 12% for upper secondary dropout). • Females dropout from secondary school more than males.

  10. Cambodia: Education & Training Development (cont.) Progress… • Number of higher education institutions has increased following policies to expand access through public-private partnerships. • Female enrollment in formal TVET courses is 25% but forms majority in informal courses. Challenges… • Higher education institutions exhibit low levels of institutional efficiency and quality. • Access to TVET courses is limited.

  11. Strengthening Education and Training to Promote Greater Gender Equity Gender Equity Focus vs. Female Focus Equity measures contributing to achieving equality: • Equality of access • Equality in the learning process • Equality of educational outcomes • Equality of external results

  12. Thank you Please visit http://www.adb.org/cambodia http://www.adb.org/gender