Planning for gender equality in the classroom
GPE and UNGEI introduce Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans, a tool that brings a gender lens to education analysis and planning
March 08, 2017 by Karen Mundy, UNESCO Institute of Educational Planning, and Nora Fyles, UN Girls' Education Initiative
4 minutes read
A girl sits in her classroom at Chavuma Secondary School in Zambia's North-Western province. Credit: GPE/ Tanya Zebroff
A girl sits in her classroom at Chavuma Secondary School in Zambia's North-Western province. GPE is supporting Zambia to improve the quality of education and, particularly, to mitigate inequities

Education 2030 presents a clear message: to support gender equality in education we need to transform the way education systems function, and put in place gender-sensitive policies, plans and learning environments.

Today, International Women’s Day, GPE and UNGEI are pleased to launch the Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans to help deliver on this commitment. The Guidance, developed in collaboration with UNICEF, is designed to strengthen existing planning processes to include a comprehensive consideration of gender and other equity issues at each step the formulation of a rigorous analysis of the sector, a robust sector plan, and a feasible way to monitor results.

Promoting equality for all girls and boys

National governments and development partners have made tremendous progress towards increasing girls’ and boys’ enrollment in primary and secondary education, and in reducing gendered enrollment gaps.

Still, across the globe, more work remains to be done to address the specific needs of the poorest and most marginalized girls, those living in rural and remote areas, and girls living in conflict and crisis situations.  At the same time, in some countries and regions, boys are disengaging, underperforming or dropping out.

Applying a gender lens to analysis ensures that policies and strategies can better target specific groups of girls or boys and the challenges they face.  This approach also supports a shift from a narrower focus on girls’ education to gender equality more broadly, and a better understanding of gender issues concerning teachers, administrators and systems.

Over the last 15 years, we have learned that reductions in gender gaps are necessary but not sufficient for gender-equal education. Stand-alone and targeted projects for girls are critically important to address specific barriers or pockets of exclusion.

Yet it is only when gender discrimination is identified and eliminated across the education system, and across all aspects of the lives of girls and boys, that the right to quality, equitable and inclusive education can be assured for all learners.

The Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans is a product of a 15-year partnership between UNGEI and GPE and our common commitment to supporting national partners to establish and maintain equitable education systems.

We are pleased to be working closely together to promote gender-responsive sector planning, and to make gender equality a core feature of quality education.

The Guidance will be rolled out through a series of regional trainings taking place in Africa and South Asia in 2017 and 2018, the first of which will be held later this month in Tanzania.

The training provides an opportunity to help country partners to better integrate gender considerations into sector planning and other GPE processes.  It is a core component of the implementation of the GPE Gender Equality Policy and Strategy 2016-2020. 

Gender equality

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