UNESCO calls for better gender equality in education sector

PARIS, Despite some good progress on gender equality in access to education, UNESCO on Thursday urged more efforts on better parity between boys and girls regarding the quality and completion of education cycles.

In a statement after a meeting between the G7 countries and UNESCO on education and parity, it was found that the number of illiterate adult women in the low income nations had grown by 20 million since 2000, according to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring team.

UNESCO did not negate “the significant progress” made in helping women get into education and the spending that reflected this ambition.

Indeed, in a study of G7 countries, 55 percent of aid to education goes to achieving gender equality, according to a report called “Building Bridges for Gender Equality” published after Thursday’s meeting.

Nonetheless, in a study of 20 countries with the most glaring inequalities, the report stressed “important disparities and unequal progress in different regions” globally, with a number of regions showing lack of significant progress on equal access to school for boys and girls.

“Half the world’s nations fail to provide lower secondary education to as many girls as boys”, according to the report, which also points out that only one in four countries have equality in upper secondary education.

Sub-Saharan Africa is far behind other areas in all education levels but other regions are also far from achieving gender parity, with parts of the Arab world falling behind in achieving gender parity in primary education, “possibly because of conflict”.

On a more positive note, Central and Southern Asia have made great progress, led by rapid change in India, UNESCO noted.

“Tackling inequalities head-on is the only way we are going to achieve a quality education for all,” said UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, in the statement.

“We welcome the G7 decision to focus on girls’ education, a core priority of UNESCO for the next six years. This is a positive development not only for the realization of a fundamental human right for girls and women, but for all who work to achieve sustainable development and peace.” The report also underlined that teaching was largely a profession held by women but education was largely managed by men.

Source: Kuwait News Agency