GLOBAL EDUCATION FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND SUSTAINABLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT : MAKING THE CONNECTIONS
By : Aurora Javate de Dios
The paper examines and explores why gender equality must be seen as a final goal in and of itself and as a prerequisite for attaining sustainable human development goals and building global citizenship. Discriminatory practices in all areas including education, as well as traditional and harmful gender norms like violence against women limit, inhibit and eventually impede the full development and empowerment of women which is critical to the realization of these two goals.
The escalation of economic globalization has driven a demand for instrumental education which can be clearly tied to the goals of production, productivity and employment. As a consequence, programs for the development of critical thinking, humanities and the social sciences that foster a deeper understanding of global issues social justice, sustainable development and human rights have been diminished.
Given this situation the question for educators then is, how do we meaningfully utilize the enormous impact of globalization to develop and foster not only education to prepare students for jobs and employment but education that develops a deep understanding and solidarity for transcendent core values like justice, peace, equality and sustainable development.
Another purpose of internationalizing education is to expand and broaden student’s understanding and appreciation of socio-economic political realities of other countries and cultures as they relate to their own national and local realities in the hopes that such exposure can bring about tolerance of difference and solidarity for the common good. Global learning is also defined as education “that puts learning in a global context that fosters critical and creative learning; self-awareness and open mindedness towards difference; understanding of global issues and power relationships and optimism and action for a better world”.
Gender equality in educational access, participation and outcome is central to the promotion of democracy. A vibrant civic life in which citizens are engage in all aspects of society is critical to the flourishing of democratic institutions, and an important precondition for promoting social justice and human right. As Educational For All Global Monitoring Report 2011 : A Gender Review assert, education is a human right of everyone, including girls and women. Much more needs to be done in terms of educational reforms such as redefining quality of education to include : (1) transformative, gender-responsive educational processes and outcomes, (2) ensuring safety and protection of girls particularly in conflict areas, (3) higher investment in early childhood care and education is crucial for promoting sustained girl’s education, and (4) engendering school thru textbook revisions and teacher training, and providing space and support systems to encourage girl and young women to take on non-traditional subjects such as math and science.
The Human Development Report of 1995 asserted that there are four elements in the concept of human development which includes productivity, equity, sustainable, and empowerment. The human development paradigm must be engendered and based on three principle : (1) equality of rights between women and men as a fundamental principle, (2) recognition that women are agent s and beneficiaries of change, and (3) the engendered development model, though aiming to widen choices for both women and men, should not predetermine how different cultures and different societies exercise these choices. For illustration, the specific example of Miriam College in the Philippines, is used to discuss both the possibilities, and challenges of gendered global learning strategies.
II. REACTION PAPER
I agree that the women have to struggle for gender equality by demanding rights and access to education which is a key step in their political participation and empowerment. Eventhough the role of women as equal as a man, the woman should responsible to her duty as wives, woman career, and mother. The reason above is the basic for developing the next generation in the future.
In conclusion that global education must embrace the principle of social inclusion, gender quality, peace, human right, environment and diversity as ways to develop global citizenship. Global citizenship principles, values and behavior can be proactively promoted now. In promoting education to integrated a gender perspective that requires national curricula to :
a. Unpack the historical and sociological meaning of national curricular norms;
b. Recognize (if not deconstruct) the various male and female forms of knowledge and their representations in the curricula;
c. Understand the different types of gendered performance within different school subject;
d. Be sensitive to the changing gender relations brought about by globalization and its significance in terms of male and female relationship to knowledge.
Quality and equality in education are inextricably linked (UNESCO 2004). Poor or marginalized children, who are more likely to have illiterate parents and less access to reading materials in the home, are more dependent on their teachers for their learning than are better-off children. As a result, poor instruction perpetuates inequities because it is more often the most marginalized children who become school leavers, either through failure or voluntary termination. Research has shown that girls seem to be more sensitive to school quality than boys and that the quality of teachers has a greater impact on the demand for girls’ education than for boys’ (Kane 2004).
There are four main dimensions of gender equality outlined in the framework : (a) equality of access, means that girls and boys are offered equitable opportunities to gain admission to formal, non formal, or alternative approaches to basic education. Actual attendance, rather than enrollment, is a better indicator of whether access has been achieved (b) equality in the learning process, means that girls and boys receive equitable treatment and attention and have equal opportunities to learn. This means that girls and boys are exposed to the same curricula, although the coursework may be taught differently to accommodate the different learning styles of girls and boys. Equality in the learning process also means that all learners should be exposed to teaching methods and materials that are free of stereotypes and gender bias. In addition, it means that boys and girls should have the freedom to learn, explore, and develop skills in all academic and extracurricular offerings. (c) equality of educational outcomes means that girls and boys enjoy equal opportunities to achieve and outcomes are based on their individual talents and efforts. To ensure fair chances for achievement, the length of school careers, academic qualifications, and diplomas should not differ based on a person’s sex, and (d) equality of external results, occurs when the status of men and women, their access to goods and resources, and their ability to contribute to, participate in, and benefit from economic, social, cultural, and political activities are equal. This implies that career opportunities, the time needed to secure employment after leaving full-time education, and the earnings of men and women with similar qualifications and experience are equal. (Subrahmanian n.d.).
USAID, Education From A Gender Equality Perspective, This report was developed for USAID’s Office of Women in Development by the EQUATE Project, Management Systems International (Prime Contractor).