GENDER EQUQLITY IN EDUCATION AND POVERTY REDUCTION
Shanta Laxmi Shrestha
Assoc. Professor Mahesh Nath Parajuli, PhD
In partial fulfilment of the requirement of the course
Educ 545 Theory and Practice in Education and Development
M Phil (Development Studies)
School of Education
Word Count: 4564
Gender Equality in Education and Poverty Reduction
This paper discusses the concept of gender equality, its application in national development plan and in education in Nepal. It gives the glimpse of gender parity and equality situation in education. It also shares the reasons achieving EFA as well as MDGs goals and thereby analyzes the causes of not achieving gender equality in education. It advocates for application of substantive equality – equality in outcome - approach in achieving gender equality in education in real sense as envisaged in the EFA and MDGs. The paper advocates about the necessity of investment in gender equality in education for enhancing capability, which in turn reduce poverty. The paper argues that gender equality in education is indispensable for developing human capital that are essential for poverty reduction and achieving MDGs. As gender is highly relevant to all MDGs, it urges for investing education of girls for gender equality education. The paper is based on study of related literatures. Main thrust of study has been to explore on the iimportance of gender equality education to reduce poverty in Nepal.
The Human Development Report 1995 stated, “Human Development, if not engendered, is endangered” (UNDP, 1995, p.1). Educational attainment is one of the key components of human development, without engendering it; other aspects seem not possible to engender. Commitments for gender equality in education have been made in various instruments including the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) and Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Nepal government has ratified both instruments. Nepal, being a member country of the UN, it has made commitment to compliance with the Education for All (EFA), the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA). Together with these global efforts, the Government has attempted to address gender issues by amending laws and incorporating issues in periodic development policies since its Ninth Plan (1997-2002). The Tenth Plan (2002-2007) clearly recognized gender as a crosscutting issue in all line ministries, and mentioned it as, “All line ministries are required to consider incorporating gender issue in the mainstream as a common responsibility.” For instance, the Tenth Plan has incorporated gender issues in agriculture, health, education, forestry, labour and transport sectors encouraging policies, strategies and programs. The major quantitative gender-related targets of the Tenth Plan (NPC, 2003) were to achieve: 1. Gender Development Index (GDI) value of 0.550.
2. Gender Empowerment Measurement (GEM) value of 0.500. 3. Increased women’s participation in decision-making positions by 20 %. The three years interim plan (2064/65-2066/67)’s quantitative gender-related targets to achieve are (NPC, 2007):
1. Gender Development Index (GDI) value of 0.556.
2. Gender Empowerment Measurement (GEM) value of .0.450.
3. Increased women’s participation in decision-making positions by 33 %. 33 More importantly, the House of Representatives passed gender equality bill on 28 September 2006 to amend some Nepali laws for ensuring equality. The legislative initiative amended or repealed as many as 65 provisions in 18 laws that were discriminatory against women. Education is one of the key indices of GDI. So, the government has set eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 and achieving gender...