THE ROLE OF GENDER IN PROMOTING EDUCATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Abstract
Gender and gender considerations are crucial in modern development and the omission of gender in any plan, programme or activity is detrimental to the achievement of any set goals. In the same vein, gender has an important role to play in promoting education in the development process. Gender equality is central to sustainable development and the broader goal of gender equality is a societal goal to which education and all other institutions must contribute. The paper first gives the definition of gender and the concept of education in the development process and then examines the role of gender in promoting education in the development process, analyses the challenges and then opportunities of gender in promoting an educational responsive society. Brief conclusions are made at the end of each section before the final conclusion is made. The paper contends that meaningful development will be attained by duly integrating gender in the education system and well as all other sectors and at all levels. The Definition of Gender
According to the Uganda National Gender Policy gender is:
“the social and cultural construct of roles, responsibilities, attributes, opportunities, privileges, status, access to and control over resources and benefits between women and men, boys and girls in a given society”. Gender has to do with the social division of roles, responsibilities, access to and control of resources between men and women, boys and girls. In the education sector, the Government of Uganda (GoU) has established specific measures in an attempt to achieve gender equality for example: 1.
Affirmative action for women in gender to address imbalance between women and men 2.
Making school and learning environment child friendly especially sanitary provisions for girls which is meant to encourage all actors in sustainable development 3.
Affirmative action for girls in higher institutions of learning 4.
Equal opportunities for boys and girls under Universal Primary and Secondary Education Programme 5.
Thirty percent representation of women at all levels of decision making in the country 6.
Ensuring that the Equal Opportunities Commission is fully operational and supported. 7.
Mainstreaming gender in the Education Policy
Muleya, J.M (2012) contends that Gender and development is important because it focuses on connections between gender and development initiatives and feminists’ perspectives, and deals with issues such as health and education, decision making and leadership, peace building, violence against women and economic empowerment. Development cannot be realised without the very significant component of gender. Countries the world over have proved that exclusion of women in development has rendered their development efforts futile. The GoU has addressed gender and gender issues in different sectors and programmes. The National Constitution (1995) provides a legal basis for integration of gender in all development programmes. More specific measures have been taken to ensure that gender equality is achieved in the education sector. However, despite the fact that Uganda has made great gains in addressing gender issues, women and girls are still disadvantaged in society and more especially in the education sector, for example: •
There is still a high drop-out rate of girls from school •
The emphasis on affirmative action for women or girls may lead to neglect on the males •
There is still a need to effectively promote integration of both genders especially in the rural areas. Education in the development process
Education is a fundamental human right as well as a catalyst for economic growth and human development (World Bank, 1993). The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda Article 30 makes education for Ugandan children a human right, and in Article 34 children are entitled to basic education by the state and the parents. It is the key to...
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