strategy

Expanding access of women to education

Synonyms:
Supporting education of women
Pursuing women's education issues
Enabling women's participation in learning process
Reducing inequality of access of women to education
Focusing on education for women
Giving attention to education for women
Context:
Women are increasingly defined through work and public institutions. This requires individual development of qualification and skills.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends measures to eliminate illiteracy among females and to expand the enrolment of women and girls in educational institutions, to promote the goal of universal access to primary and secondary education for girl children and for women, and to increase educational and training opportunities for women and girls in sciences and technology, particularly at the post-secondary level.

This strategic objective also formed part of the Platform for Action of the UN Fourth World Conference for Women (Beijing, 1995). Women's access to and participation in the learning process is closely connected with the type of welfare system and distribution of responsibilities at family, community and society level. The decision to participate or not is often not a woman's free choice but the result of the constraints imposed by her daily schedule at work and within the family.

Implementation:
Strategies for increasing and enhancing women's education are: (a) initiating and encouraging women's participation in the process of life-long learning at all levels and in all forms, including vocational training, on-the-job training, and the search for innovative forms of training which will fit women's daily schedules; (b) eliminating gender bias and traditional thinking on the "appropriate" model of female education and promoting women's educational choices which reflect current and future labour market trends; (c) equipping women with a good level of generic skills and knowledge which could be developed further and easily adapted to changing labour market requirements; (d) encouraging and supporting women's education and development of skills in information technologies and related subjects; and (e) create incentives for enterprises to invest in human resources which in some cases, in particular in small enterprises, could favour women.

UNESCO has developed a programme called [The Barefoot College] in Tilonia, India, which provides educational opportunities to local women and girls.

Subjects:
Women
Participation
Education
Consciousness
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies