This article maps the state of education of girls with disabilities in 2013, including the specific barriers that limit their right to education.

This policy document discusses the global situation of girls in schools and highlights the importance of a human rights approach to education.

The Dakar Framework for Action represents the most important international political commitment towards promoting Education for All. The Framework contains two gender-based goals. In Article 7 (ii) the participants commit themselves to eliminating "gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005". The second commitment is to achieve gender equality in education (Article 7 (v)). These are described as "gender parity" and "gender equality" respectively. This article focuses on gender equality and examines gender parity by way of comparison, on the premise that it is a necessary but insufficient precondition for the realisation of equality. It also discusses a human rights framework for education to promote gender equality in and through education.

On 7 July 2014, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) held a General Discussion on the Right to Education for Girls and Women, the aim of which is to commence the Committee’s process of elaborating a “General Recommendation on girls’/women’s right to education.”

Thirteen organizations from around the world, included the Right to Education Initiative, presented a written submission to CEDAW on ‘Privatization and its Impact on the Right to Education of Women and Girls,’ highlighting evidence from a range of countries showing that more boys are enrolled in schools than girls, a problem that is exacerbated by the increasing privatization of education.  Privatization in many cases deepens gender discrimination in education because already marginalized and vulnerable groups, including women and girls, are more disadvantaged by private provision and are the least able to pay for services.

Key resource
This background paper was commissioned by the Global Education Monitoring Report team to assist in the drafting the 2018 GEM Gender Review: Accountability in education: Meeting our commitments to gender equality in education.

This paper firstly sets out the legal and political frameworks on gender equality in education to which states have committed and then describes how they have committed.

In the second section, the content of states’ commitments to achieve gender equality in education is explained, including the normative content of relevant provisions found in international and regional human rights treaties and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This section also includes a classification of states according to what legal commitments to women and girls’ right to education they have made.

The final section details how states can be held accountable for failure to meet their legal commitments to gender equality in education, including what mechanisms are available and examples of how these mechanisms have been used to hold states accountable.