Gender Equality in Education

©Florence Migeon

Gender-based discrimination in education is both a cause and a consequence of deep-rooted disparities in society. Poverty, geographical isolation, ethnic background, disability, traditional attitudes about their status and role all undermine the ability of women and girls to exercise their rights. Harmful practices such as early marriage and pregnancy, gender-based violence, and discriminatory education laws, policies, contents and practices still prevent millions of girls form enrolling, completing and benefitting from education.

Gender must therefore be integrated at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education, in formal and non-formal settings and from planning infrastructure to training teachers.

UNESCO works to promote equal opportunities to quality learning, free from gender-based or other forms of discrimination. In particular, UNESCO:

  • mobilizes additional funds through the ‘Better Life Better Future’ initiative, aimed at expanding learning opportunities for girls and women 
  • seeks to address obstacles to learning such as gender-based violence and HIV & AIDS   promotes gender equality in national education laws, policies and plans
  • seeks to expand access to learning opportunities, in particular for girls and women, in both formal and non-formal education
  • develops the capacity of education policy-makers, planners, teachers and other education personnel regarding gender-sensitive approaches
  • supports countries to make education content gender-sensitive and free from discrimination 


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