NEWS AND EVENTS

News and Events: Newsline

Gender and Education experts meet in New York to reflect on the EFA Global Monitoring Report

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©UNGEI 2012
Roundtable panelists discuss the impacts of education outcomes for girls and women in New York.

By Desmond Doogan     

NEW YORK, United States of America, 04 December 2012 – A recent report reveals the urgent need to invest in skills for the 116 million young women aged 15 to 24 who fail to complete primary school and lack skills for work.

The theme of this year’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) – an independent report commissioned by UNESCO – is Youth and skills: Putting education to work. Its Director Pauline Rose yesterday joined gender and education experts from the Population Council, FHI 360 and Intel on 3 December for a policy roundtable organized by the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) to discuss the gender dynamics of the learning and skills crises among youth.

While significant advances have been made in closing the gender gap globally, 68 countries have still not achieved gender parity in primary education – and disparities are even more pronounced at sub-national levels.

Presenting the findings of a Gender Overview of the report, Rose said, “Girls are more likely to never enroll in school, with rural girls especially likely to be lower paid and working below the poverty line and exposed to the threat of early marriage.”

Skills development key to breakthrough in moving people out of poverty

Moderating the event, Dr. Anju Malhotra, UNICEF’s Principal Adviser in Gender and Rights noted “the report does a good job of relating the disparities in skills and work opportunities and it shows very clearly that gender parity has not been achieved.”

The lively discussion centered around the challenges girls and young women continue to face in the acquisition of skills in education and the work environment and its implications for policies and future development of countries and communities alike.

Discussing the role of the private sector in advancing gender equality and skills development, Intel’s Director of Social Impact, Dr. Renee Wittemyer said “At Intel we want to foster innovation and encourage critical thinking [….] More than 7 million teachers around the globe – including an estimated 4 million female teachers – have participated in Intel programs, which helps educators integrate technology into the classroom and helps young people in underserved communities prepare to succeed in the knowledge economy.”

According to the report, in addition to the US$ 16 billion needed annually to achieve universal primary education by 2015, universal lower secondary school enrolment would require US$ 8 billion. And programmes offering alternative skills training would also need to be dramatically scaled up. And yet, the drive to get more children into school in the developing world is grinding to a halt as aid for education is reduced due to the global recession.


 

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