Welcome to Gender Wire: a newsletter exploring current gender trends and issues, for people pushing forward gender equality in education in Asia and the Pacific.
With so many decades dedicated to reaching gender equality in education, how do we know if progress has been made?
The Global Gender Gap Report provides new data on gender rankings in 135 nations, focusing on education and three other indicator areas. The World Economic Forum report explores the gender gap by comparing women’s and men’s access to education in primary, secondary and tertiary education, as well as literacy levels.
The report shows that 93% of the gap in education has been closed globally. How did UNESCO Asia Pacific Member States do? New Zealand, the Philippines and Australia demonstrated the smallest gap (all ranked one) in education, while India (ranked 121), Pakistan (127) and Nepal (128) demonstrated the highest gender gaps.
How does your country rank? Review the full report here
But although globally women seem to be winning the battle on education and health – they still cannot get a firm foot in politics and business. Check highlights of the overall Global Gap Indicators in Member States below or read about the financial impact of gender gaps.
Gender Gap Indicators (GGI) in Member States in Asia-Pacific
5 Highest GGI's
5 Lowest GGI's
GGI 2011 Data
GGI 2010 Data
GGI 2011 Data
GGI 2010 Data
We are delighted to announce the winning drawings of the UNGEI Children’s Drawing Contest for Gender Equality in Education, available here for you to enjoy. The drawings, representing 24 countries from our region, were selected by public vote, and will be included in the UNGEI calendar for 2012. Both contest and calendar are strongly supported by UNESCO and we would like to thank all our colleagues and partners who helped share information and collect drawings in their country.
A special mention goes out to the children artists who provided over 3000 submissions to the competition. Thank you for your inspirational and thoughtful drawings.
On behalf of the APPEAL Gender Team
Lehitraot, Au revoir and Hooroo!
Idit, Adrien and Fuchsia. Citi, 15 years old, Indonesia
Global: Summit Participants Join Efforts to Educate and Empower Girls
The recent Women & Girls Education Summit in New York explored linkages between girls’ education and economic development. A follow-up event showcased organizations doing well by doing good. Ariana Tsapralis of Girl Up encourages all girls to become activists, on behalf of disadvantaged girls around the world.
South Asia: Secondary Education is the Next Great Challenge for Gender Parity
Although noting improvements in gender parity globally, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics calls for action on remaining disparities in secondary education. Girls in South and West Asia still face significant barriers: female gross enrolment ratio at lower secondary level reached just 69% in 2009, up from 53% in 1999.
Sri Lanka: New Challenges - GBV and Adolescent Girls
Facing its largest ever youth population of 5.6 million, UNFPA have found that adolescents in Sri Lanka face lower levels of gender discrimination at home and at school relative to the rest of South Asia. However, adolescent and youth issues are neglected including reproductive health services, the position of adolescent girls in society and the increase in gender-based violence towards women. This youth bulge is faced with shortages in the education system. UNICEF and IOM identify floods, a lack of teachers, and limited investment in education as key issues.
Afghanistan: Bonn Summit could "Legitimize the Taliban," warns Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs
Afghan women activists visited policymakers in Europe to lobby for involvement in the upcoming international Conference of Foreign Ministers. “The Taliban are gaining power, and there is great danger for educated women." Says Dr. Jalal.
Afghanistan: Women Join Elite New Army Unit
Despite a Congress ban on active combat, women are making their way into a special army unit. Female soldiers will work with women and children, who are typically held separately during village raids. Since it is against cultural norms for Afghan women to interact with male soldiers, female soldiers will work directly with female civilians to strengthen trust and rapport with women and children.
Nepal: School Meals Girl Conquers Everest
It was a long route to the top of Everest for Nim Doma Sherpa, but she reckons it started when her parents sent her to school simply to get the free lunches supplied by WFP. In 2008, Nim Doma finally achieved her dream of climbing the highest mountain in the world.
India: Two Girls Find Themselves on the Path to Success, with Help from 10,000 Women
Entrepreneurial skills workshops now form part of Room to Read Girls’ Education programme. The curriculum has been developed in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, which provides business and management education to underserved female entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets.
India: Name Changing Ceremony Aims to Improve Status of Girls and Women
In an innovative bid to fight gender discrimination, Satara district in India’s western state of Maharashtra recently witnessed a minor revolution. Over 285 Indian girls named Nakhushi (‘unwanted’ in Hindi) by their disenchanted parents were renamed in a state-organized ceremony.
Singapore: Few Women at the Top
Women make up just 6.9 per cent of board members of listed companies on the Singapore Exchange, a figure described as “dismal” by Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports.
Asia: Educated Women Refuse to Submit Themselves to a Life of Traditional Wifely Duties
Growing unease in Asia about the social and economic implications of a dramatic shortage of brides.
7 Billion Reasons to Empower Women
UN Foundation’s Ted Turner says our future depends on listening to women and investing in them. There are 215 million women worldwide who want the ability to space their pregnancies, but do not have access to contraception. In the developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among women in their reproductive years. A staggering one out of eight women dies giving birth in Afghanistan. The tragedy is that one-third of these deaths could be prevented if women had access to voluntary family planning.
Global: Teacher Shortage Threatens Progress on Education
UNESCO estimates 8 million extra teachers are needed worldwide by 2015. But how do countries compare? Get the full data here.