Gender Equality in Education: the Role of Schools Jyotsna Jha Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat, London Nottingham, 17 October, 2008 MDGs and EFA: The Reference Points Millennium Development Goals: MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
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Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat, London
Nottingham, 17 October, 2008
MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
(ii) 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;
(iv) achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults;
(v) 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;
These questions are especially relevant at secondary stage. Secondary education caters to an age group which is critical for identity formation and for developing critical skill of decision making. This is the stage that provides a link between childhood and adulthood.
Using in-depth case studies of four to five schools each, the research provides deeper insights into
Schools in most cases reinforce the existing gender ideology, stereotypes, norms and expectations everywhere (these themselves are similar in certain aspects and different to some extent in different contexts)
schools have the potential of playing a transformative role in changing the prevalent notions and unequal relations, it does not necessarily happen on its own, and requires specific and targeted interventions in most cases.
We boys are like chlorophyll for the family [meaning family is dependent on us for survival just like a plant depends on chlorophyll] (FDG with MCS boys)
We female are like a white handkerchief; any small mark of ink on it will be very visible.(FDG with GGHS BVG girls)