The present report focuses on girls’ right to education. In view of the first assessment of the Millennium Development Goals, the Special Rapporteur wished to focus on Goals 2 and 3, on universal primary education and gender equality. The Special Rapporteur addresses the sociocultural context of gender discrimination by defining the concept of patriarchalism, which underpins discriminatory behaviours. He denounces the negative impact on education, and especially on girls’ education, of the persistent consideration of education as being a service rather than a human right and insists on the importance of ensuring not only girls’ access to school but also their completion of the education cycle. The report identifies obstacles to education for girls, such as early marriages and pregnancies, child labour (especially domestic work) and armed conflicts.
The Special Rapporteur draws attention to aggravating factors and highlights the key role of human rights education and its concrete implementation at the classroom level to combat gender discrimination and stereotypes. The report also summarises replies received to the questionnaire sent to different stakeholders to solicit information on the realization of the right to education for girls, extracting major trends from the replies and validating his findings. The report provides a set of recommendations based on the four elements identified as components of the right to education, namely, availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability.