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The Role of Civil Society in Advancing Gender Responsive Sector Planning in Togo

Wed, April 17, 5:00 to 6:30pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Atrium (Level 2), Garden Room A

Proposal

The gender disparities in Togo’s education system are significant, with only 78% of girls completing primary school, compared to 87% of boys. The disparities are even more pronounced at secondary school level, where only 34% of girls complete their education. Early and forced marriage, early pregnancy, School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV), harmful gender norms and stereotypes, and lack of female teachers and role models have all been cited as reasons why girls are more likely to drop out of school. While political crises in Togo have hindered education progress, the government has continued to commit to developing effective education strategies that focus on increasing equity and inclusion of marginalized girls and boys.

There has been recognition among the Ministry of Education and its partners that a piecemeal approach to addressing gender disparities in education has not achieved the wide-scale change needed to see all Togolese girls and boys in school, learning and succeeding. Therefore, the GPE-UNGEI-supported Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning (GRESP) initiative and regional workshop, which took place for seven country delegations in Togo in May of 2018, was an important opportunity for Togolese partners, including Ministry, local education group and civil society representatives, to better understand how to use gender analysis, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and integrate these into the education sector planning process. Since the regional training, partners have mobilized to integrate a gender analysis in to the broader education sector analysis process, locally known as the ‘RESEN’ (‘Rapport d'Etat sur le Système Educatif National’).

Plan International Togo has played a significant role in supporting the Ministry of Education and other sectoral partners to transform knowledge, attitude and capacity gained at the regional GRESP training into concrete follow-up action in-country. This presentation will tell the story of how attitude change and capacity development in gender responsive education sector planning is being translated into action in Togo’s education sector. The presentation will seek to answer the following key questions:
- What are the success factors in ensuring country level follow-up action after GRESP regional training? What worked and what investments are still necessary in Togo?
- What are some of the potential barriers to success within a country and what are the potential solutions?
- What is the unique role and value-add of a civil society organization in ensuring education sector plans are gender responsive? How can CSOs better organize and collaborate to advance GRESP?

The presentation will conclude with a call to action for more country–level investment in the roll out of GRESP.

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