This blog was also posted on the Education Out Loud website.
According to the extensive data on gender parity collected by Equal Measures 2030, in 2019 Ghana was the 7th place for all sub-Saharan Africa on gender parity in education, with a score of 61%.
Ghana has seen a rapid transformation and great improvement in girls’ access to education during the last decades. However, despite having reached almost complete gender parity in enrollment in primary and secondary education in 2019, girls are still underrepresented in some subjects, and many still do not complete their education.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region when it comes to gender parity in education with an overall score of 54% against a global average of 75%. Not only in sub-Saharan Africa, but worldwide, we are still faced with numerous barriers to girls’ education stretching far beyond mere access.
“We have reached goals for enrollment – now we are struggling with retention and quality outcome. We see a huge negative change in gender parity moving from secondary to tertiary enrollment. Something happens in between – there is a disconnect somewhere,” explains Dinah Adiko, Gender and Inclusion specialist, and Technical Committee member of Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), one of the many national education coalitions supported by Education Out Loud.
Repeating problematic gender norms in the education system
According to UNESCO’s 2020 Gender Report, girls’ enrollment in school has increased steadily over time. However, there is still great gender disparity in higher levels of education and, for example, in subjects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – and Ghana is no exception.
As we move closer to a world with overall gender parity in enrollment at many levels of education systems, the absence of girls in some subjects is striking. For GNECC, this is proof that ensuring formal access to education is only the first step in breaking down gender norms and barriers in the education system: