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Connecting, Reflecting and Planning Ahead: UNGEI Global Advisory Committee Members Gather in Bangkok, Thailand
More than 50 participants from 23 organizations representing multilateral and bilateral development partners, international and regional civil society organizations and networks, national governments, academia as well as invited technical experts and members of the UNGEI East Asia and Pacific regional partnership attended the meeting.
The GAC also welcomed its new members to UNGEI: Youth Advocacy Group of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (YAG-GEFI), CARE USA, Family Health International (FHI 360), and the Comparative, International and Development Education Centre (CIDEC) at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.
Over the course of the meeting, the participants:
- Shared progress and achievements and highlighted the unfinished business of the MDGs/EFA agenda relating to the diversity and scale of the educational challenge – of access, equity, and learning across varied social, political, and economic contexts, especially in relation to the rights of the most marginalized.
- Reflected on understanding and addressing multiple and intersecting disparities in education; and how gender interacts with other factors such as poverty, geographic location, race and ethnicity, linguistic status, disability, and sexual orientation among others.
- Focused on the need to accelerate the pace of our work and raise ambitions and capacities to deliver transformative education for girls and boys and gender equality - from early childhood through primary and secondary education, including post-primary learning opportunities - in the post-2015 development framework.
- Promoted engaging with young people, girls and boys, and women and men in creative and effective ways to question social norms that hold gender inequalities in place in schools, families, communities, governments and our own organizations.
- Advocated the use of a systems approach to better education through engagement with education sector plans; build a strong multi-sectoral policy response across ministries of education, social affairs, justice, health, gender, finance, labour, and infrastructure among others to address gender inequalities in education; & support effective multi-stakeholder partnerships and networks.
In conclusion, the participants:
- Affirmed the status, role, and continuity of UNGEI beyond 2015 at the global, regional, and country level, in advocating for increased attention and investments for advancing a transformative education agenda based on gender equality and social justice for all girls and boys, and supported by a strong evidence and knowledge base and capacity development.
- Articulated the need to work towards a strong post-2015 framework, where gender equality is strongly reflected in the education goals and accompanying targets and forthcoming indicators (Goal 4); and which are linked and aligned with Goal 5 on gender equality for maximum impact.
- Reconfirmed and committed to further develop UNGEI’s policy advocacy priorities to promote gender equality in education through: a) enhanced focus on excluded and marginalized groups; b) reduction and elimination of school-related gender based violence; c) improved and transformative learning outcomes; & d) increased numbers of girls transitioning to secondary education and accessing post-primary opportunities.
- Agreed to the emerging participatory and collective action agenda which builds on the ongoing work and respective strengths and expertise of the member organizations and sets clear expectations to guide how UNGEI will advance its policy advocacy priorities in the coming year.