UNESCO DG: Gender Equality is Not a Numbers Game
With evidence showing that disparities in education widen as girls grow, UNESCO kicked off a two-day meeting in Paris devoted to gender inequality in classroom achievement and women’s leadership role in education.
School Enrollments for Girls in Pakistan Comparable to United States in 1825
World Bank report finds that two-thirds of countries globally have reached gender parity in primary education enrollments. Yet, where disadvantage exists it emerges earlier and is deeper. In both India and Pakistan, boys and girls from the top income bracket participate in school at similar rates. But at the bottom income bracket, there is a gender gap of almost five years.
UNESCO and GEMS Launch Principles Training Program Impacting 10M Children
School Principals in many developing countries receive little, if any, leadership and development training. UNESCO and the Varkey GEMS Foundation will implement the “10,000 Principals Leadership Programme” in India, Kenya, and Ghana. These projects are part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education launched in May 2011.
World Teachers’ Day: Gender Equality in Teaching a Must for Reaching the MDGs & EFA Goals
The theme for 2011 was Teachers for Gender Equality. In a joint message the UN notes that the global proportion of female primary teachers is 62%, while at the secondary level men make up 49% of the teaching force. This feminization results in deterioration of conditions of service, pay, and status.
Bangladesh: 5-Day Action Plan in Celebration of World Teachers Day
The National Front of Teachers and Employees undertook 5 days of action promoting gender equality. Actions encouraged equality in classrooms and in the teaching profession. Activities included a rally of female education staff for maternity leave, and calls to end the sexual harassment of students on campus.
Gender Equality at the 2011 UN General Assembly Debate
The 66th General Debate closed with firm commitments to gender equality throughout the speeches of high-level government representatives. Several countries highlighted national strategies to increase gender equality. The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea noted they recently passed the first vote on a bill reserving seats for women in the 2012 elections.
"Girls Not Brides" Campaign Aims to End Child Marriage in a Generation
Each year, 10 million girls as young as five years old are forcibly married. Child marriage almost always cuts girls’ education short, trapping them and their children in poverty. It often leads to early pregnancy and childbirth, putting girls’ lives and health at risk. The efforts will support activists in the field such as the DISHA program in India.
What’s the Best Place to Be a Woman?
A Newsweek survey analyzed various indicators of 165 countries to determine countries that offer women the most expansive rights and quality of life. From Asia-Pacific, Australia ranked highest on the list (9) followed New Zealand (11), the Philippines (17), China (23), Mongolia (32) and Kazakhstan (33). Afghanistan ranked 164th.
Where did your country rank? Check the full list here
Sex Scans Cause Millions of “Missing” Women in Asia
Increased access of parents to sex-screening technology has left Asia short of 117 million women, mostly in China and India. UN figures show China has 118.1 male babies for 100 females, India 110.6, Azerbaijan 117.6 and Vietnam 111.2. Most countries of the world have 104 to 106 male births per 100 female births.
Thailand: PM Blames Cultural Reasons for Gender Inequality
"Girls face many problems caused by people's attitudes and cultural stereotypes" Yingluck Shinawatra said at the launch of the Plan International global report, "Because I Am A Girl: So What About Boys?". The first female Prime Minister used the launch to highlight gender inequality in Thai society. 47% of respondents of a small survey of youth in Chiang Rai and Bangkok felt that the status of boys and girls in Thai society is not equal.
Malaysia: Women Losing out in the School to Work Transition
Women represent only 46 per cent of the labor force despite occupying up to 67 per cent of university places.
Malaysia: To Open Asian Women’s Leadership University by 2015
Tajikistan: Girls Education Drive Launched by UNICEF
India: Employs Least Women in Asia
Nepal: Census Recognizes Third Gender
Nepal's Central Bureau of Statistics has given official recognition to gay and transgender people. This reflects a swift move towards equality for a country that decriminalized homosexual relationships only three years ago.
Nepal: "In this community there is never ending discrimination against women"
Life expectancy for women in Urthu is 50, eight years less than men. Women marry young, have children young and die young. Women talk about their struggle to improve their communities through individual actions such as sending both boys and girls to school.
Pakistan: A Rare Hospital Serving Rural Women
In northwest Pakistan, conservative culture often dictates men eat first, while women eat last, which may mean they just get scraps. Many women suffer from a lack of a proper diet as well as short intervals between pregnancies that don’t give the women time to recuperate. A patient reports that she carries large earthen jars of water down from the side of a mountain five or six times a day, and this continues even when sick or expecting. The very big challenge for Pakistan is to make men feel responsible for the well-being of their wives and families. The Mumtaz hospital providing a rare focus on women by circumventing social restraints and improving women's health in rural Pakistan.
Sri Lanka: Inequality Characterized by Social Barriers and Concepts of Impurity
Manel Chandrasekara: “in most South Asian countries, the birth of a girl gives deep pain to parents”. South Asian women discussed Gender Equality at a forum in Sri Lanka. Women identified issues of infanticide, dowry, lack of education and inadequate health care.
Sri Lanka: Institute for Gender and Development Studies Launches New Website
World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick: Empowering Women Empowers Nations
3 Women’s Rights Activists Win Nobel Prize
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and rights activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen share this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee said they were chosen "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."
NEW ON THE SHELF
Women and the Teaching Profession: Exploring the Feminisation Debate, Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO
Five-country study of Sri Lanka, India, Samoa, Dominica and Lesotho explores the debate on the role of women teachers within expanding education systems, particularly within primary education.
Teachers and Educational Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015, UNESCO
Provides global and regional assessments on the state of teachers and education quality. Highlights trends in the number and quality of teachers, noting that Two million teachers are required to ensure gender equality.
Because I am a Girl 2011, So, What About Boys? Plan International
Reports on the role of boys and men in achieving gender equality, noting that boys and men are hurt by gender inequality, are key to change and would benefit from a more gender-equitable world. This is the fifth report in the series assessing the state of the world’s girls. It shows that fathers, brothers and husbands all have an essential role to play in creating true gender equality.
276 Ideas to Increase Women’s Economic Opportunity and Voice in Decision Making, World Bank
Gender equality activists, experts, and entrepreneurs participated in a 24-hour chat forum and live webcast debate, see what they said.
Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls, World Bank
A teenage mother in India can lose up to $100,000 in potential income over her lifetime. Multiply that by the number of teenage mothers in India and you have a total of $383 billion, equal to the total amount of money spent on global development in 2009. New report measures the dividend of the girl effect.
Summary of E-Discussion on the Impact of HIV on Women and Girls in Asia Pacific, UNDP
This report captures the E-discussion conducted in August 2011. Contributions were received from government, civil society, academia, and the UN family from across the Asia Pacific region.
Women, Business and the Law 2012: Removing Barriers to Economic Inclusion, World Bank
Globally, women represent 49.6 percent of the population but only 40.8 percent of the workforce in the formal sector. The report finds that women face legal and regulation hurdles preventing their full participation in the economy. The study measured Gender Parity of legal rights in 141 countries. In Asia and the Pacific, South Asian is the sub-region with the most unequal rules between men and women, while Central Asia has seen the most improvements in gender parity.
State of Food and Agriculture, FAO
The report finds that closing the agriculture gender gap could reduce the world’s hungry by 12-17 percent. Women have less access than men in productive resources and opportunities, causing women’s farms to produce less. The report states that ensuring women have equal access to resources as men will result in increased yields on women’s farms of up to 20-30 percent.
Investing in Youth Policy: The Case for Youth Policy Development in the Asia-Pacific region, UNICEF EAPRO
An interactive flip-book aimed at policy makers. Advocates for an integrated approach to youth policy development, by incorporating education, workforce participation, injury and drug prevention elements. Explores the needs of male and female adolescents.
ONE GOOD PRACTICE A MONTH
Enlisting Community Change Makers
End Violence against Women: South Asia identified the power of individuals in decreasing violence against women in their communities. It works on the premise that when enough people embark upon a change they can influence and transform the institutions, communities, and society of which they are a part.
Change makers use public education as a tool to start a popular movement against gender based violence. Ordinary men and women are enlisted. They find solutions to violence in their homes and lives and find ways to reject it. There are over 2.7 million change makers actively committing to not perpetuating or supporting violence and influencing others to take a similar path.
Meet the south asian change makers and hear their stories here.
JUST A QUICK QUESTION
Is Gender Equality in Education Just about Girls?
Trends suggest a growing gender disparity, and not one you might expect. In some countries, boys are less likely to complete secondary education than girls. In 2006, Fiji, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand, the Philippines, Samoa and Tonga had a lower proportions of boys enrolled in secondary education than girls. This trend is increased at higher education levels. Globally for the first time in history, women in higher education now outnumber men.
Information on a study on boys achievement in Mongolia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand can be found here UNGEI Study on Why Boys Do Poorly in School.
While the benefits of educating girls are well known, less widely advertised are the social benefits of keeping boys in school. A recent multi-country study involving 11,000 interviews found that men who completed secondary education not only hold more gender equitable attitudes, but are less likely to use violence against women, more likely to be present during childbirth and more involved in childcare.
Interested in the longer term benefits of educating boys? More information can be found on the Men and Gender Equality Policy Project, Initial Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey