» Moving gender mainstreaming in education into action in Africa
21.12.2016 - Education Sector

Moving gender mainstreaming in education into action in Africa

© UNESCO

A workshop to explore how to implement gender mainstreaming in education highlighted gender-responsive pedagogy, teacher training and the use of ICT

During the workshop organised by the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) on 24-25 November 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, participants exchanged experiences to enhance institutional capacity for gender mainstreaming in education. It was the first  workshop organized in the context of the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education’s Hainan Funds-In-Trust (HFIT) project on “enhancing the quality and relevance of education for adolescent girls in Africa and Asia through gender-responsive teaching and learning” launched in 2015. Participants were able to exchange experiences and lessons on HFIT project implementation in Ethiopia and Ghana, and enhance institutional networking and interaction on girls' education through South-South learning and exchange.

Understanding the different contexts is key to improve our interventions. A good analysis on the barriers to girls’ education is critical to address them in a holistic manner” said Ms Sarah Holst, Manager of DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge Fund in the East Africa region. Participants agreed on the importance of partnerships to build understanding and to consolidate expertise, in particular with the Ministry of Education, as the main coordination body for girls’ education activities at country-level.

Participants discussed how to mainstream gender into teacher training curriculum. “One way to implement gender mainstreaming in education effectively is by involving and committing all the persons involved in the process, including the leaders of institutions, right from the start, added Martha Muhwezi, Senior Programme Coordinator at the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE). FAWE’s longstanding support to gender-responsive pedagogy was seen as a model that should be institutionalised in different settings.

Innovative classroom strategies using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects was one good practice shared from IICBA. Participants also recommended that advocacy strategies for enhanced institutional capacity in gender mainstreaming be based on key facts on girls’ education and framed within the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Participants called for strengthened capacities to mainstream gender-responsive pedagogy in teacher training, improve documentation and advocacy activities, and called for ongoing partnerships to ensure continuous learning and sustainability of practices. IICBA, together with Ghana and Ethiopia are now moving gender mainstreaming in education into action through their activities to advance the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education.

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