A key element of the GPE 2025 strategy is the “hardwiring” of gender equality across the work of the partnership. With gender equality hardwired into the education system transformation process, GPE can support counties in reaching their own ambitious goals towards gender equality. What does this look like in practice?
1. Comprehensive country dialogue on gender equality
Gender equality is not a new commitment for GPE. Building upon the 2020 Gender Strategy and Policy, Gender equality has been integrated across the pathway to system transformation that characterizes the GPE 2025 strategy.
As the operating model is being implemented, country partners are integrating gender equality in country-level dialogue and rethinking how to better integrate gender equality into the education sector planning process. For example, El Salvador has embedded gender equality into early learning, its priority reform, as a result of engaging with GPE 2025.
The program being developed will tackle biased social norms from early on, helping to address cultural problems over time, such as gender-based violence – a major challenge in the country.
This is only the beginning. The systems-transformation approach will yield more country assessments and diagnostics of barriers disproportionately affecting girls or boys, prioritized education reforms addressing the root causes of gender inequality, and better alignment of education partners around gender.
2. A strong financial commitment to gender equality
GPE 2025 is putting gender equality at the center of the discussion on domestic financing and GPE’s own grant process.
As part of the System Capacity Grant, partner countries can tap into (up to US$5m) in funding towards gender diagnostics and reinforcement of country capacity to identify, design, and implement strategies for greater gender equality in education.
With issues of gender inequality in the spotlight, governments and local education groups determine which groups and interventions are targeted for support under the (up to US$162.5m) System Transformation Grant.
Financing is also being used as an incentive to bring gender equality, and girls’ education specifically, to the center of the discussion in countries where it is needed most. The Girls’ Education Accelerator, a US$250 million funding window intended to support 30 countries to break down barriers to girls’ education.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) the complex set of challenges made it difficult to prioritize an area of policy reform that will bring about system transformation.
Discussions triggered in the engagement with GPE’s new model led to partners agreeing that insufficient data and coordination have been hindering progress on the country’s system-wide girls’ education strategy. Such evidence supports the conversations taking place at the country level, as partners work to align themselves behind priority reforms and better coordinate their initiatives to break down the barriers to gender equality.
3. Inclusive local and global partnerships for gender equality advocacy and action
GPE 2025 translates the hardwiring of gender equality to putting gender equality at the center of partnership discussions, including dedicated sessions at the country level, with board members, and in global forums.
GPE 2025 also continues the work on gender responsive education sector planning and capacity building, including through the participation in the Gender at the Center Initiative.
The hardwiring of gender equality has also led GPE to engage in a wider set of issues that act as barriers to gender equality. Here GPE has also engaged through a partnership approach, including its participation in the Comprehensive Sexual Education Partnership forum.
Finally, we continue to strengthen a partnership approach to gender equality by supporting advocacy and social accountability by civil society through Education Out Loud.