The Global Monitoring Report team is joining forces with UNESCO’s network of field offices to mark this year’s Education for All Global Action Week (May 2-8), which focuses on girls’ and women’s education.
In 2000, governments pledged to achieve gender equality in education by 2015 – the fifth of the six Education for All Goals. Considerable progress has been made since then, particularly in girls’ enrolment in primary school. However, gender discrimination persists across all educational levels, often in combination with sources of disadvantage. Just four years before the 2015 target date, many countries still have a long way to go and are likely to miss the gender equality goal.
This year’s Global Monitoring Report, The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education, draws attention to the particularly damaging effects of conflict on women’s education. The widespread and systematic use of rape and other sexual violence as a weapon of war is keeping girls out of school and leaving a legacy of trauma that harms their learning potential.
UNESCO offices and partners will be marking the launch of the 2011 Global Monitoring Report with a range of events across the world this week, including a policy discussion in Canberra, a launch, concert and press conferences in Moscow, and a presentation and exhibition for the first time in Gaza this year. In Kinshasa, the GMR launch will be accompanied by several days of policy workshops and media events to discuss the Report’s main findings.
Global Action Week is organized by the Global Campaign for Education each year to raise awareness of the importance of Education for All. UNESCO actively supports the campaign by organizing activities in its headquarters and field offices, mobilizing networks and encouraging ministers of education and all EFA partners to participate.
This year’s theme and EFA Goal 5 acknowledge that education is a universal human right for girls and boys alike – and a key for empowerment. Female education has very high returns for human development, boosting progress towards all the six Millennium Development Goals. Educated women are more likely to resist violence, know about HIV/AIDS, delay marriage, have access to antenatal care and better medical treatment, improve their children’s health, send their children to school, and participate in political meetings, among other benefits.
Along with each year’s Global Monitoring Report, a gender overview is published highlighting the report’s findings and recommendations with regard to gender equality in education. The 2011 Gender Overview is available here.