Raise your voice for gender equality in education

Does gender equality at the school level extend to the labour market?

Highlights on discussions, Day 6 (2 April 2012)

Today colleagues from Argentina, India, South Sudan, and the United Kingdom have discussed the relationship between gender equality in school learning achievement and future life opportunities after school.

Andres L. Beil (Teacher, Argentina) found that schooling itself is not enough. He claims that a broader sense of ‘life education’ makes a difference to attitudes that will influence gender policy in the end. In contrast, in South Sudan gender policy making appears to be at the heart of the education system’s concerns. Lillian Z. Mokgosi (Education Advisor, UNICEF, South Sudan) explained that gender equality issues appear to be particularly complex because of the ongoing conflicts in the country which, in turn, affect further opportunities for women.

From a different perspective, Indumathi Sundararaman (Education Specialist, Azim Premji Foundation) mentioned that in India even if school learning achievement appears to have a positive effect on female career opportunities, this does not necessarily translate into leadership positions.  It seems that women’s personal lives as wives and mothers limit their opportunities to hold such positions.  Again, this issue of female leadership appears to be closely related to contextual issues and the need to focus on attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes observed at societal level.  Expanding on this topic, Tina Wallace (Researcher, International Gender Studies, U.K.) suggested that it might be relevant to look for good examples of women themselves demanding change and try to identify concrete barriers to women’s access to senior jobs. 

In your experience, what strategies have been implemented that ensure equal access to and participation in leadership positions?


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