Achieve Educational Equality
11 October - 19 November 1999
Working Group Summaries
About the Working Group
Through this on-line discussion we seek to gain information to assess the progress made toward the achievement of goals formulated at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Expanding on principles expressed in the "Education for All" conference in Jomtien (Thailand, 1990), the goals enacted in the "Platform for Action" of Beijing have been reinforced in subsequent international and regional educational forums during the late 1990s. There is thus a rich history of recommendations to advance the education of girls and women.
IMPLEMENTING THE PLATFORM FOR ACTION
Building upon the Nairobi Conference in 1985, the Platform for Action produced a carefully constructed list of actions to be taken by national governments. Additional actions were intended to be assumed by regional and international bodies; non-governmental organizations; and employers, workers, and trade unions. These numerous actions were clustered by the Platform for action into six strategic goals:
Countries made a commitment in Beijing to turn the proposed actions into reality in the years following the conference. As we approach the mid-decade review of this commitment, the UN, as well as institutions and persons concerned with issues of social and gender equality, have a genuine interest in learning what has been the response by the government and other institutions in each country.
TOPICS TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE WORKING GROUP
The Working Group on Education will explore the following questions:
(a) What actions have been taken to improve girls' access to and completion of basic and secondary education?
(b) What measures have been implemented to make educational environments more sensitive to girls, either through modifying educational materials or by eliminating discriminatory practices by teachers and male classmates?
(c) What efforts have been conducted by non-governmental organizations to advocate for better education and training programs for girls and women or to provide such programs themselves?
(d) What actions have occurred at the university level to instill in men and women greater understanding of gender issues and to enable women to select careers traditionally underrepresented by women (e.g., scientific, technological, and engineering fields)?
(e) What are the main obstacles of economic, political, social, and cultural natures that have operated against the implementation of (a) through (d) above? What must be done in the future?