Financing Gender Equality in Education Mobilizing Additional Resources for Girls’ Education Mercy Tembon, World Bank Sr. Education Specialist CSW Side Event: February 25, 2008
Key Messages • Resources are critical to girls’ education and the eliminating gender disparities at all levels of the education system by 2015. • Mobilizing additional resources to improve girls’ education is feasible if all partners act simultaneously and cooperatively. • A sustained effort on a vast scale that builds on success and includes a broad range of actions all underpinned by political will and commitment would be needed.
The Questions • What challenges do we face in mobilizing resources for girls’ education? • What are the existing sources for mobilizing resources for girls’ education? • How can additional resources be mobilized within the context of existing frameworks?
The Situation • Millions of children are out of school and more than 50 per cent of them are girls who have been excluded from education—because of poverty, orphanhood, disability, inaccessible or unsafe schools, discrimination by their parents or communities, or other sources of disadvantage. • Only about one third who complete primary education may continue to secondary education and fewer than one tenth of those who complete secondary education may continue to tertiary education or the formal sector of the labor market. • For those who participate in the labor market the earnings of females will be lower than those of males. Failure to achieve gender equality in education by 2015 will have serious consequences on national economic growth and a wide range of human development indicators.
The Challenges • Current ODA allocations inadequate • Some Government allocations have hit the ceiling • Cost of girls’ education relatively high • Sources still untapped
How much money are we talking about? • Approximately $9 billion are needed annually to achieve universal primary education. • Experience from recent analyses from projects and programs indicate that the amount needed to educate a girl, may vary from $27 to about $80 depending on the country, area, circumstance and level.
Current Sources • Governments: Benchmark for government expenditures allocated to education is 20%. Some countries are moving towards that benchmark while others have passed it. Allocation to primary education also varies from 17% as in Moldova to 71% as in Burkina Faso. • Donors (bilateral and multilateral agencies) have increased their allocations to education significantly during the past decade. Between 1999 and 2005, donor disbursements to education increased by 9% annually to a total of 106 billion in 2005. • NGOs and other civil society groups and making tremendous contributions at times on a small scale, in dispersed locations that are not systematically reported. • Gap still exist and quantum leap is needed to close the financing gap that most countries face in educating their children and particularly girls.
Mechanisms for additional resource mobilization • Guiding principle: Shared responsibility is essential for cooperation between all the key stakeholders involved. • High level political advocacy and consensus building • Costed national development and education strategic plans • Special Trust Fund for Girls’ Education. • Strong monitoring and evaluation system in place
Conclusion • On the one hand, finances alone will not solve all the problems of girls’ education. There are other socio-cultural obstacles that must be overcome; there are gaps in technical and managerial capacity to plan, implement and evaluate girls’ education programs etc. These non-financial obstacles would have to be addressed with strong resolve and imagination. • On the other hand, there is little doubt that a sustained effort cannot be achieved without mobilizing additional resources for girls education. • But again $80 is a small investment to make if it can help a girl get quality education and bring about the economic and social benefits that come with it. • Girls’ education is an investment that the world community must make and make with special urgency.