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In Event: Girls’ education interventions and system change: from global commitments to gender equality results
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Education 2030 Framework for Action provide an ambitious vision for the education community, confirming and highlighting the critical role of gender equality in achieving this right to education. The Framework for Action explicitly recognizes the link between education and gender equality outcomes, and calls on governments and partners alike to put in place gender-sensitive policies, planning, and learning environments.
Over the last 18 years, the UN Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) has been a global leader in supporting the development of gender responsive national education systems, with a focus on policies, partnerships and capacity development. In 2005, UNGEI published a gender review of the first 11 Education Sector Plans endorsed by the Fast Track Initiative. Through 2010-2013, UNGEI worked closely with Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other technical partners including Plan International to explore how to strengthen national capacity for gender responsive education sector development. In 2014, UNGEI and GPE launched an initiative to design a tool to support developing country partners in preparing gender-responsive education sector plans. The UNGEI-GPE Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans was launched in 2017.
Building on this effort, in collaboration with GPE, Plan, UNICEF and IIEP, UNGEI has delivered regional GRESP workshops in Africa and South Asia, reaching over 100 education planners and policy makers, gender focal persons, education administrators, inspectors, and curriculum and budget experts, as well as civil society and national development partners from 20 countries. The goal was to strengthen the commitment and capacity of Ministry of Education staff and members of the Local Education Group, to more effectively integrate gender into education sector analysis and planning, which would contribute to their ability to develop equitable and inclusive sector plans.
Drawing on experience and early findings from an external review, UNGEI will explore the opportunities and challenges of the GRESP initiative to support meaningful change at global and national levels in advancing gender equality in education. This paper will outline how the initiative seeks to integrate gender analysis into education sector planning processes, has engaged global and national education actors involved in supporting the development of ESAs and ESPs, and consider what other factors are necessary to integrate gender issues into education reform and system building.