Freetown manifesto for gender transformative leadership in education
Welcome to the Freetown Manifesto for Gender-Transformative Leadership in Education! This Manifesto was developed in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 18-20 May, 2022 in a gender-transformative leadership workshop hosted by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Gender at the Centre Initiative, a programme implemented by UNGEI and UNESCO IIEP and supported by UNICEF, GPE, UNESCO and the governments of Italy, France, United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union. The purpose of the manifesto is to build momentum for gender equality in and through education.
We, Ministers of Education, working to achieve quality education for every child, reaffirm our firm belief in the equality of all humanity and the catalytic role of girls’ and women’s empowerment in equitable and equal human development. By signing this Manifesto, developed in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 18-20 May, 2022 and in line with the United Nation’s Secretary General’s vision to transform education to achieve all SDGs, we resolve collectively to focus our leadership on empowering girls through education while seeking to achieve gender equality in and through education.
This means that we will continue our work on access to quality education for the most marginalized children while accelerating our support for education systems and actors to become gender equal. Towards this end, we commit to transforming our systems, pedagogies, institutions and indeed our own mindsets so that we can end harmful gender norms and stereotypes and help each child achieve the freedom they need to dream and grow without barriers.
We thus commit to the following:
1. In Education Sector Plans, include and increase clearly delineated budgets, strategies and commitments to gender equality in and through education with separate commitments to addressing harmful gender norms in pedagogy, gender capacity building for education sector staff and other selected priorities.
2. Participatory, citizen-inclusive data gathering from households on out of school children with strong support of gender and child rights experts so that we pay special attention to how intersectional gendered norms and expectations (for example, disability, minority status) have led to their being out of school.
3. Provide all reopened schools in conflict settings and emergencies with voluntary teachers and other learning alternatives and provide safe temporary learning spaces for all girls affected by crisis.
4. Multi-sectoral efforts with relevant National Ministries and Global Agencies working for employment, economic development and women’s empowerment to build effective links between education and formal workforce employment, with a focus on girls and young women.
We make these commitments because we believe that it is only through education that we can transform our nations and our world. In making these commitments, we want to note that we can only achieve them in partnership with line Ministries, religious and cultural leaders, the private sector and the civil society organizations that serve the most vulnerable children on the ground as well as young activists who speak up for their needs and the needs of their communities and schools. We promise to prioritize these commitments in education processes and budgets, recognizing that what the most marginalized children need is not more promises but action on the ground that will transform their lives.
Burkina Faso, Hon. Wendkouni Joël Lionel Bilgo, Minister of National Education
Chad, Hon. Mog-Nan Djimounta, Minister of Basic Education and Civic Promotion
Gambia, Hon. Claudiana A. Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education
Liberia, Hon. D. Ansu Sonii, Minister of Education
Mali, Hon. Sidibe Dédeou Ousmane, Minister of National Education
Mauritania, Hon. Mohamed Mélainine Eyih, Minister of National Education
Mozambique, Hon. Carmelita Rita Namashulua, Minister of Education and Human Development
Niger, Hon. Ibrahim Natatou, Minister of National Education
Nigeria, Hon. Adamu Adamu, Federal Minister of Education
Sierra Leone, Hon. David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education
South Sudan, Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of General Education and Instruction
Tanzania, Hon. Adolf Mkenda, Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training
Uganda, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni, Minister of Education and Sports
Cameroon, Hon. Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, Minister of Basic Education
Charles North, Acting CEO, Global Partnership for Education (GPE)
Robert Jenkins, Global Director UNICEF Education
Antara Ganguli, Director, UNGEI Secretariat
Karen Mundy, Director of IIEP-UNESCO
Kevin Frey, CEO, Generation Unlimited
Pauline Rose, Director, REAL Centre, University of Cambridge
Elaine Unterhalter, Professor of Education and International Development, University College London (UCL)
Martha Muhwezi, Executive Director, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)
Susan McIsaac, President and CEO, Right to Play
Geetha Murali, CEO, Room to Read
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Lego Foundation
Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
Solange Akpo, Regional Coordinator, ANCEFA
Stephen Omollo, CEO, Plan International
Safeena Husain, Founder, Educate Girls
Lucy Lake, CEO, CAMFED International
Jennifer Rigg, Executive Director, Global Campaign for Education-US
Practitioners & Activists
Night Stella Candiru, Education Specialist, UNICEF
Anu Bazarragchaa, Regional Facilitator, FRIDA
Landy Rasamoeliniaina, Education and Gender Specialist, The World Bank
Moyomade Aladesuyi, Advisor, FRIDA
Harika Srinivasan, Social Worker, Marasiyal
Ashlee Burnett, Founder, Feminitt Caribbean
Sapphire Alexander, Regional Facilitator, FRIDA
Anna Murru, Global Strategic Advisor Partnerships, VVOB
Tom Dannatt, CEO, Street Child
Brenda Bih Chi, Co-founder, My African Womanhood