Women and education
"Education and training are catalysts for change, and they enable women to realize their full potential. Support for the education of women and girls is critically important for their well-being and for their reproductive and sexual health." UNFPA
The Beijing Platform for Action called on Governments to eliminate disparities between women and men in both access to education and educational outcomes.
Education and training are human rights and essential tools for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace. Non-discriminatory education benefits both girls and boys and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men.
Literacy of women is an important key to improving health, nutrition and education in the family and to empowering women to participate in decision-making in society.
Investing in formal and non-formal education and training for girls and women, with its exceptionally high social and economic return, has proved to be one of the best means of achieving sustainable development and economic growth that is both sustained and sustainable.
Creation of an educational and social environment, in which women and men, girls and boys, are treated equally and encouraged to achieve their full potential, respecting their freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, and where educational resources promote non-stereotyped images of women and men, would be effective in the elimination of the causes of discrimination against women and inequalities between women and men.
Women should be enabled to benefit from an ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills beyond those acquired during youth. This concept of lifelong learning includes knowledge and skills gained in formal education and training, as well as learning that occurs in informal ways, including volunteer activity, unremunerated work and traditional knowledge.
This concerns all levels and forms of education, including basic and primary education, secondary and advanced studies, vocational and labour market training, adult literacy and lifelong learning.
The Beijing Platform for Action set out six strategic objectives:
Ensure equal access to education;
Eradicate illiteracy among women;
Improve women’s access to vocational training, science and technology, and continuing education;
Develop non-discriminatory education and training;
Allocate sufficient resources for and monitor the implementation of educational reforms;
Promote lifelong education and training for girls and women.
UNESCO + UNEVOC working together
Address by the Secretary General 2010
Persistence of poverty, discriminatory attitudes towards women and girls, negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls, as well as negative stereotyping of girls and boys.
Lack of political will and commitment and insufficient allocation of financial and resources to improve educational infrastructure and undertake educational reforms.
Insufficient national mechanisms to implement policies and programmes for the girl child.