Strategies to Improve Gender Equality in Development

Topics: Gender equality, Millennium Development Goals, Gender Pages: 9 (2661 words) Published: December 11, 2012
Gender inequality is deeply rooted in entrenched attitude, societal institutions, and markets forces: political commitment at international and national level is essential to institute policies that can trigger social change and to allocate the resources necessary to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. Goal number 3 of the Millennium Development Goals {MDGs} focuses on promoting gender equality and empowerment of women. The specific target under this goal is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and in all levels of education not later than 2015. The UN Millennium Project, an advisory body was commissioned by the UN secretary general proposed best strategies for meeting the millennium development goals. The task force recognized that gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to achievement of millennium Development goals.Polices and actions that fail to take gender inequality into account or fall to enable women to be actors in those policies and actions will have limited effectiveness and serious costs to societies. The task force further recognized that the core of empowerment is in the ability of the woman to: •Control her own destiny

Having equal access to resources and opportunities {e.g. Land and employment} •Having equal capabilities {e.g. Education and health}
Ability to use the rights capabilities, resources and opportunities to make strategic choices and decisions • Living without the fear of coercion and violence.

Gender equality is the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex in opportunities and allocation of resources or benefits in access to services. It refers to equal treatment and valuing of women and men by society. It means that both men and women have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights, equal access to control of resources and respect. Gender equality is a goal that has been accepted by governments and international organizations. It is enshrined in international agreements and commitments. There are many ongoing discussions about what equality means (and does not mean) in practice and how to achieve it. It is clear that there are global patterns to inequality between women and men. For example, women tend to suffer violence at the hands of their intimate partners more often than men; women’s political participation and their representation in decision making structures lag behind men’s; women and men have different economic opportunities; women are overrepresented among the poor; and women and girls make up the majority of people trafficked and involved in the sex trade. These issues and others need to be addressed in efforts to promote gender equality. Achieving greater equality between women and men will require changes at many levels, including changes in attitudes and relationships, changes in institutions and legal frameworks, changes in economic institutions, and changes in political decision making structures. One of the main strategies for promoting gender equality was endorsed in the Beijing Platform for Action from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995: gender mainstreaming which seeks to bring about equality in the world Kenya like other countries is participating in adaption of equality aspect in all its operations and the following strategies can be used to improve gender equality in development;

1.STRENGTHENING OPPORTUNITIES FOR POSTPRIMARY EDUCATION FOR GIRLS WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY MEETING COMMITMENTS TO UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION: Gender parity in access to schooling is the first step towards gender equality in education. Secondary and higher levels of education have great pay offs for women empowerment in the following ways: •increased income-earning potential

Ability to bargain for resources within the household.
Decision making autonomy
Women’s control over their own fertility
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