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    Technical Meeting on
    Partnering the UN Girls’ Education Initiative to
    Intensify Progress towards Gender Equality in Education

    21-23 January, 2002

    Background

    UNICEF was mandated by the Secretary General of the UN at Dakar in April 2000 to lead the UN thrust in support of girls’ education through the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). The 10-year Initiative aims to mount a sustained campaign to improve the quality and availability of girls’ education in the 61 countries in which girls’ net enrolment ratio (NER) falls below 85% (see Annex 1). The Initiative works through existing mechanisms and instruments to encourage and facilitate strategic action on girls’ education, especially at the country level. The Initiative emphasises commonality of approach to girls’ education, particularly within the UN system, and proposes five strategic objectives as guidelines of effective intervention (see Annex 2).

    To offer a forum for inter-organisational dialogue around the UNGEI, UNICEF is organising a meeting of UN, bilateral, and selected NGO representatives. The meeting will be hosted by UNESCO and partially supported by DfID. This document offers the rationale, purpose, expected outputs, and structure of the January consultation.

    Rationale

    Attaining gender parity in primary and secondary education by 2005 (a target shared by the Millennium Development Goals and the Dakar Framework for Action) will be extremely challenging for many countries. The UNGEI offers opportunities to accelerate progress towards this goal. To exploit these opportunities it is important that the full range of partners identify the ways in which engagement with the Initiative can add real value to progress toward gender parity by 2005, and gender equality and EFA by 2015. The consultation will offer an opportunity to take stock of gender inequality in education, with a particular emphasis on the potential contribution of the UNGEI to the attainment of the 2005 and 2015 gender in education goals.

    Purpose

    To provide an opportunity for all partners to:

    • Take stock of progress toward the 2005 gender parity goal;
    • On the basis of this stocktaking exercise, identify ways in which development and other organisations can contribute to accelerate progress towards gender equality in education;
    • Determine how agencies and other organisations and the UN Girls’ Education Initiative can work together at international and country levels to assist countries to meet the gender in education goals to which they have committed;
    • Better understand the fit between UNGEI and agencies’ and other organisations’ ways of working with regard to action on girls’ education at the country level; and
    • Contribute to shaping the strategic direction and activities of the Initiative.

    Outcomes

    As a result of the consultation, the following will result:

    • Progress towards the 2005 gender parity goal analysed and assessed
    • Identification of ways in which better collaboration among partners can facilitate countries reaching the 2005 target; and
    • Suggestions for how the UN Girls’ Education Initiative might more strategically engage with other partners, at the country, regional, and global levels.

    Location and logistics

    The meeting will be held at:

    UNESCO Main Building
    7, place de Fontenoy 75700 Paris 07
    Room VII, Basement
    Fontenoy Building

    Participants are responsible for their own expenses and hotel reservations. A list of hotels is included for your possible use.

    French/English interpretation will be available.

    Annex 1 - List of 61 countries with NER below 85%

    Version 21/12/01

    Countries with NER of girls 85% or less

    Net primary education ratio

    Number out of school

    total countries: 56/61

    Year

    Girls

    Boys

    gender

    gap

    OOS girls

    OOS total

    Afghanistan

    1993

    15

    42

    27

    1,386

    2,393

    Angola*

    1996

    48

    52

    4

    416

    800

    Bangladesh

    1998

    83

    80

    -3

    1,464

    3,278

    Belarus

    1994

    84

    87

    3

    40

    75

    Benin

    1997

    50

    75

    25

    278

    413

    Bhutan

    1998

    47

    58

    11

    103

    188

    Burkina Faso

    1997

    28

    40

    12

    732

    1,348

    Burundi

    1998

    37

    38

    1

    363

    725

    Cambodia

    1998

    74

    82

    8

    282

    479

    Cameroon

    1989

    71

    82

    11

    360

    373

    Central African Republic

    1997

    27

    51

    24

    223

    351

    Chad

    1997

    39

    65

    26

    411

    645

    Comoros

    1999

    55

    65

    10

    25

    44

    Congo, Dem. Rep. Of

    1997

    51

    66

    15

    2,252

    3,815

    Cote d'Ivoire

    1996

    47

    63

    16

    686

    1,168

    Djibouti

    1997

    28

    39

    11

    37

    70

    Dominican Republic

    1997

    85

    84

    -1

    109

    235

    El Salvador

    1995

    78

    78

    -1

    134

    276

    Eritrea

    1998

    35

    40

    5

    163

    315

    Ethiopia

    1997

    28

    43

    15

    3,708

    6,607

    Gabon

    1998

    83

    82

    0

    16

    32

    Gambia

    1998

    55

    64

    9

    43

    77

    Ghana*

    1998

    74

    74

    0

    395

    791

    Guatemala

    1998

    75

    81

    6

    233

    417

    Guinea

    1997

    30

    49

    19

    441

    776

    Guinea-Bissau

    1987

    32

    58

    26

    63

    102

    Guyana

    1997

    84

    89

    5

    7

    12

    Haiti

    1997

    66

    66

    0

    214

    435

    India

    1997

    64

    78

    14

    19,542

    32,504

    Kuwait

    1997

    85

    89

    4

    11

    20

    Lao People's Dem. Rep

    1997

    72

    80

    8

    100

    174

    Lesotho

    1997

    65

    55

    -10

    63

    144

    Liberia

    1999

    31

    43

    12

    137

    266

    Madagascar

    1997

    69

    67

    -2

    345

    716

    Mali

    1997

    33

    47

    14

    618

    1,107

    Mauritania

    1995

    53

    61

    8

    102

    187

    Morocco

    1998

    64

    77

    13

    720

    1,204

    Mozambique

    1999

    40

    47

    7

    875

    1,636

    Myanmar*

    2000

    69

    68

    -1

    835

    1,700

    Nepal

    1997

    60

    79

    19

    593

    932

    Nicaragua

    1995

    79

    76

    -3

    84

    178

    Niger

    1996

    19

    30

    11

    737

    1,407

    Nigeria

    1996

    33

    38

    5

    6,398

    12,484

    Pakistan

    1997

    60

    84

    24

    3,784

    5,392

    Papua New Guinea

    1989

    67

    79

    12

    114

    195

    Rwanda

    1997

    68

    67

    -1

    230

    469

    Saint Vincent and Grenadines

    1998

    78

    90

    12

    Saudi Arabia

    1999

    73

    81

    8

    451

    810

    Senegal

    1997

    55

    65

    10

    346

    620

    Sierra Leone*

    2000

    40

    42

    2

    253

    491

    Somalia

    1985

    7

    13

    6

    893

    1,734

    Sudan

    1998

    37

    43

    6

    1,916

    3,715

    Tanzania

    1998

    57

    56

    -1

    1,439

    2,939

    Thailand

    1998

    79

    82

    3

    667

    1,277

    Togo

    1997

    61

    85

    24

    148

    206

    Turkey

    1998

    82

    93

    11

    593

    853

    Turkmenistan*

    1995

    80

    80

    0

    47

    94

    Uganda

    1997

    83

    92

    9

    408

    611

    Vanuatu

    1989

    72

    76

    4

    5

    9

    Venezuela

    1996

    85

    83

    -2

    358

    780

    Yemen

    1995

    39

    79

    40

    1,368

    1,871

    *Instead of Net primary enrolment ratio the net primary attendance ratio has been indicated

    Regional summaries (from 1995 to 1999 data)

    Out of school

    girls

    total

    Sub-Saharan Africa

    57.6

    49.7

    8

    27,031

    50,003

    Middle East and North Africa

    84.9

    75.8

    9

    6,009

    9,711

    South Asia

    78.7

    65.6

    13

    26,332

    43,397

    East Asia and Pacific

    97.4

    96.0

    1

    3,459

    5,995

    Latin America and Caribbean

    91.2

    91.4

    0

    3,167

    5,937

    CEE/CIS and Baltic States

    93.1

    89.6

    4

    1,590

    2,690

    Industrialized countries

    95.4

    95.8

    0

    1,239

    2,547

    Developing countries

    83.4

    76.3

    7

    67,718

    112,926

    Least developed countries

    64.3

    55.2

    9

    23,840

    43,277

    World

    84.7

    78.4

    6

    70,072

    118,016

     

    United Nations Girls' Education Initiative
    ~ Five Strategic Objectives ~

    Strategic objective 1: Led by the Secretary General, the UN will help to build "compacts" that consist of political and resource commitments at the highest levels on a country by country basis to end gender inequality in education.

    Strategic objective 2: In the 52 countries with a gender gap of 5% or more at primary level (in 47 of which girls are disadvantaged) a plan of action to end the gender gap, with measurable indicators, will be in place by 2001, and there will be demonstrable progress toward closing the gap by 2005.

    Strategic objective 3: In all countries, a plan of action will be in place by 2002 at the latest and operational by 2005 ensuring gender equality and sensitivity in all aspects of education. This includes enrolment policies and practices, curriculum, teacher behaviour and attitudes, equity in the teaching force, learning environments, pupils’ safety, access to information and skills that enable girls to make positive life choices in areas such as, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention, and access to use of new technologies.

    Strategic objective 4: Countries affected by, or recovering from, armed conflict or natural disaster or external shock will put in place short-term (by 2000-2001) and medium-term (by 2005) measurable actions that guarantee access to and completion of quality education for girls and boys.

    Strategic objective 5: All countries, especially those reporting gender parity and NERs of 90% or more, are encouraged to sustain or improve that level of equality in education and should eliminate all discrimination against girls, as established through the international norms and standards of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and on Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

     

    Education for All

    EFA Global Monitoring Report

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