NEWS AND EVENTS

News and Events: Press releases

Call for ‘diverse voices’ to promote gender equality

LONDON, 14 January 2008

Without partnerships between a number of representatives across different societies progress is unlikely to be made, says education expert

There is a pressing need for leadership beyond bureaucracies if gender equality in education is to be achieved, argues Ramya Subrahmanian, a social policy specialist at UNICEF India.

“Policy-making processes need to be made more transparent and inclusive at all levels to ensure both that resources are allocated to meet priority gaps and needs, and that diverse voices are heard in the promotion of social equality,” writes Dr Subrahmanian, who is also a former Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK.

Her comments appear in a handbook for policy-makers and stakeholders – ‘Gender in Primary and Secondary Education’ – recently published by the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is part of the Secretariat’s series on Gender Mainstreaming, or integration, which looks at how all of a society’s or an organisation’s policies and programmes can work towards achieving gender equality.

The author argues that this challenge of gender integration goes beyond building schools and ensuring access, to sustaining these gains and securing the future of education for girls. Thus, she observes, gender mainstreaming in education needs to address the more strategic questions of the relationship between education and wider development and change, and of the relationships between men and women, boys and girls.

Dr Subrahmanian states that there are three main messages that can be taken from a review of theories about female education. First, “advocacy for education” is necessary “for the promotion of girls’ education to be sustained.” Second, she asserts that education must be go hand-in-hand with other areas crucial for human well-being including health and nutrition. Finally, Dr Subrahmanian points out that indicators need to be developed for effective analysis of progress towards gender equality.

About 30 million Commonwealth children do not go to primary school and the majority of these are girls. And whereas progress has been made in closing the gender gap particularly in primary education, disparities still exist in secondary and higher education levels.

“Large sections of populations – a significant proportion of whom are girls – are locked out of schooling and formal education institutions,” notes Dr Subrahmanian.

The Secretariat is, therefore, currently working to implement the Commonwealth Plan for Gender Equality (2005-2015), endorsed by all Commonwealth Heads of Government at their biennial meeting in Malta in 2005. This Plan “commits the Commonwealth to improving the social status of girls and women and to putting in place the conditions that will enable them to enrol and stay in school,” writes Ann Keeling, Director of the Secretariat’s Social Transformation Programmes Division, in the Foreword of this publication.

HOW TO ORDER

This title can be bought through booksellers or online at http://publications.thecommonwealth.org/gender-in-primary-and-secondary-education-482-p.aspx

A full catalogue of Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation publications can be viewed on the website, which provides a secure online buying facility. Orders can also be made through e-mail or by post. Pre-payment is essential. Payment by sterling cheque, international money order, postal order or bank draft must accompany your order.

Payment should be in sterling, drawn on a UK bank and made out to the Commonwealth Secretariat. If you require the order form as an attachment in Word format please e-mail the Publications Section (see address below). Post and packaging charges should be added to every order in the following way: UK orders: 15 per cent of order value (minimum charge £2.00). Non-UK orders: 25 per cent of order value (minimum charge £3.50).

Send orders to: Publications Section, Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 6534; Fax: +44 (0)20 7839 9081; E-mail: publications@commonwealth.int

Press release from The Commonwealth Secretariat


 

email icon Email this article

printer icon Printer Friendly

Related links
Partner profile: The Commonwealth Secretariat

eDiscussion #3: Secondary Education and other Post Primary Opportunities

Promoting the rights of young girls