Gender Equality and girls’ education

Gender equality is a human right—one that Pathfinder advances through sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programs. Gender equality and SRHR reinforce one another: gender-equal societies strengthen SRHR, and SRHR contributes to gender equality, particularly by removing barriers to women and girls exercising agency in their lives. Pathfinder’s programs seek to transform harmful gender norms; reduce the impact of gender-based violence on SRHR; and, change the policies, structures, and systems that hold individuals of all genders back.
Gender equality in education
Gender-equitable education systems empower girls and boys and promote the development of life skills – like self-management, communication, negotiation and critical thinking – that young people need to succeed. They close skills gaps that perpetuate pay gaps, and build prosperity for entire countries.
Gender-equitable education systems can contribute to reductions in school-related gender-based violence and harmful practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.
Gender-equitable education systems help keep both girls and boys in school, building prosperity for entire countries.
An education free of negative gender norms has direct benefits for boys, too. In many countries, norms around masculinity can fuel disengagement from school, child labor, gang violence and recruitment into armed groups. The need or desire to earn an income also causes boys to drop out of secondary school, as many of them believe the curriculum is not relevant to work opportunities.

What EIC Does
Increase the advocacy of equal opportunities for boys and girls in accessing education.
Use gender-synchronized approaches that engage every stakeholder in transforming gender norms and balancing power within families.
Constructively engage men and boys as individuals, within couples and communities, as partners and advocates for gender equality.
Strengthen education systems to be more gender responsive and equitable to better meet the needs of everyone.
Map, engage, and partner with local organizations working on gender equality.
Advocate to transform laws and policies that perpetuate gender inequalities; promote policies that support the agency and rights of women, girls, and marginalized groups; and, ensure health and key equity measures are disaggregated by sex and age.
Gender equality in education benefits every child.
Investing in girls’ education transforms communities, countries and the entire world. Girls who receive an education are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives. They earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families.


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