28.11.2016 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Enhancing Institutional Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming in Education

Workshop participants - enhancing institutional capacity for gender mainstreaming in education; Photo copy right-UNESCO 2016

November 24th- 25th 2016; UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) in collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa organized an experience sharing workshop on enhancing Institutional Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming in Education. This forum has been supported by HNA Group and Hainan Cihang Foundation (CHF). The meeting drew participants from Ministries of Education in Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, and development partners such as UNICEF, DFID, FAWE and Save the Children.

The meeting aimed at stimulating knowledge-sharing through the exchange of lessons and good practices on gender mainstreaming in education, particularly focusing on enhancing institutional capacities in view of accelerating the attainment of gender equality in education and a particular focus on gender-responsive teacher training and professional development.

There are notable milestones that the countries have achieved in their efforts towards gender mainstreaming namely; development of policy frameworks, alignment of programs to global frameworks for action such as 2030 Education Agenda and gender targeted responses and programs such as STEM for girls’ secondary education, girls’ scholarships, capacity development for gender responsive pedagogy. Despite the concerted efforts to address gender issues there are still some glaring challenges evident from the high numbers of out of school children (65 million), majority of them being girls and of which 56% of out-of-school girls in Sub-Saharan Africa will not return to school compared to 41% of out-of-school boys. Other identified challenges include; low levels of policy implementation, gender based discrimination and retrogressive cultural practices such early/forced marriages and female genital mutilation.

Additionally, the team identified opportunities and recommendations to further consider in the agenda of ensuring gender mainstreaming. These include; developing of institutional based frameworks to coordinate girls’ education, expanding partnerships and networks (for instance through the United Nations Girls´ Education Initiative-UNGEI), and efforts to draw guidelines for policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation-linking policies to action plans.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, applauded the innovative approach in sharing knowledge from a broad perspective that includes not only the specific project implementers but involving and drawing experiences and lessons from other development partners and government counterparts who are or have carried out similar interventions. She called upon everyone to broaden gender programming to include gender sensitive budgeting, monitoring and evaluation. She urged the participants to always think on what can be done differently and better to bring change and hope for our young people.

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