Gender and Education
Education has been declared a Universal Human Right and one of the Rights of the Child by the United Nations. It is for this reason that it’s imperative to examine, not only the importance of education, but to ask questions about why some children in the Global South don’t get to go to school, and what role gender plays in determining whose rights are denied.
When we examine the issue of gender in an education system in the Global South, we are primarily looking at whether there is gender equality, and how big the “gender gap” is. Gender equality requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources, and rewards. A “gender gap” will occur if one gender is more highly represented in an educational system; for example, of the 69 million children that aren’t enrolled in primary school, 55% of them are girls. Although the gender gap is narrowing in many countries that are explicitly working towards gender equality in education, there is much more work that still needs to be done.
Middle school students from across Manitoba gathered in 2010-11 to learn about & discuss all of the aforementioned issues. Through a simulation game, students got to experience first-hand some of the main barriers that boys and girls in the Global South face to attending school, which include: illiteracy, child labour, war & conflict, lack of water & sanitation, and poverty. Students that attended the conference have already shared their knowledge with others in their school and community, and many are in the process of taking various forms of action on this issue.
- Invite MCIC to your school to do a Gender & Education workshop.
- Play the ‘Making the Grade’ version of MCIC’s “Are You More Concerned About A Better World Than A 7th Grader?” game show
- MCIC developed a resource kit for teachers complete with curriculum connections, additional information and various print, online, and video resources. Download your copy here.
- Show MCIC’s ‘Making The Grade’ animated video
The following resources are provided by MCIC members with regards to this issue:
Mennonite Central Committee Canada
Hello in the Classroom introduces students to experiences of kids in classrooms around the world. (For early years.)