Education and Gender Equality

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, half of its potential. UNESCO recognizes the Sustainable Development Goal 5 gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as one of its two global priorities. The organization works towards having the SDG5 transversely in all of its programs, which includes education for women and girls promoting the role of women in science, especially on decision-making positions.

The inequalities women and girls face go from deprivation of access to education. Sanitary assistance, adequate nutrition, to child marriage, genital mutilation and sexual violence. Among the many obstacles that prevent women and girls from their right to study, obtaining a diploma and benefit from education, there are also the issues of poverty, geographical isolation, the belonging to minorities, disability, early marriage and pregnancies, gender violence and traditional attitudes related to the role of women in society.

Regarding education, these disadvantages translate into the lack of qualifications and as a consequence, the shortage of job opportunities. It is important to empower women and girls in order to eliminate the inequality gap for enhancing economic growth and social development.

The 2030 Education Agenda acknowledges that gender equality requires an approach that “ensures not only girls and boys, women and men can access the different levels of schooling and successfully undertake courses, but also that they acquire the same competences in and through education”. Eradicating gender violence in all its forms, including gender based school violence and gender violence during emergencies, is a priority in UNESCO’s mission.



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