This guidance aims to provide a comprehensive, one-stop resource on school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), including clear, knowledge-based operational guidance, diverse case studies drawn from examples of promising practice and recommended tools for the education sector and its partners working to eliminate gender-based violence. It distils programme knowledge based on existing global literature, promising practices, expert recommendations and practitioner consensus. 

The objective of the present joint general recommendation/general comment is to clarify the obligations of States parties to the Conventions by providing authoritative guidance on legislative, policy and other appropriate measures that must be taken to ensure full compliance with their obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to eliminate harmful practices. 

The objectives of this study are to:

  • •understand why boys have been underperforming in education over the past few years
  • analyse factors (including economic, societal, and cultural) that are causing the trend of poor performance and low survival rates at higher levels of education
  • •describe current policies and interventions in place to address the issue

The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence tries to determine why 15-year-old boys are more likely than girls, on average, to fail to attain a baseline level of proficiency in reading, mathematics and science, and why high-performing 15-year-old girls still underachieve in areas such as mathematics, science and problem solving when compared to highperforming boys. In 2012, 14% of boys and 9% of girls surveyed by the PISA exercise did not attain the PISA baseline level of proficiency in any of the three core subjects. On the other hand, in the top-performing economies in PISA, such as Shanghai-China, Singapore, Hong Kong-China and Chinese Taipei, girls perform on a par with their male classmates in mathematics and attain higher scores in mathematics than boys in most other countries and economies around the world.

As the evidence in the report makes clear, gender disparities in performance do not stem from innate differences in aptitude, but rather from students’ attitudes towards learning and their behaviour in school, from how they choose to spend their leisure time, and from the confidence they have–or do not have–in their own abilities as students. In fact, the report shows that the gender gap in literacy proficiency narrows considerably–and even disappears in some countries–among young men and women in their late teens and 20s. Giving boys and girls an equal opportunity to realise their potential demands the involvement of parents, who can encourage their sons and daughters to read; teachers, who can encourage more independent problem solving among their students; and students themselves, who can spend a few more of their after-school hours 'unplugged'.

Whilst the importance of equality and inclusion in tackling out-of-school children is now widely recognised, the extent to which discrimination, in all its forms, contributes to the denial of primary education, and the potential for the rights to equality and non-discrimination to offer solutions, are currently underexplored. This report seeks to fill this gap by (1) identifying the ways in which inequality and discrimination underpin children’s lack of access to and completion of primary education, through illuminating the discriminatory nature of the barriers and challenges children face in this context; and (2) exploring ways in which equality law may be used to tackle this problem, looking in particular at equality law approaches to advocacy and strategic litigation.

General recommendation No. 19 on violence against women, adopted by the Committee at its eleventh session in 1992, states that discrimination against women –as defined in article 1 of the Convention- includes gender-based violence, that is, ‘violence which is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately’, and, as such, is a violation of their human rights.

For over 25 years, the practice of States parties has endorsed the Committee’s interpretation. The opinio juris and State practice suggest that the prohibition of gender-based violence against women has evolved into a principle of customary international law. General recommendation No. 19 has been a key catalyst for this process.

According to UNESCO, 264 million children and youth are still out of school around the world, and this is only accounting for the primary (61 million) and secondary school (203 million) age population. In particular, the poorest and most marginalised, including ethnic and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, girls, and populations experiencing conflict, are often systematically unable to access and complete a full cycle of quality education. The first volume of NORRAG Special Issue (NSI) is dedicated to examining international frameworks and national policy as well as the challenges of fulfilling the right to education in practice.

The inaugural issue of NSI on the Right to Education Movements and Policies: Promises and Realities aims to highlight the global and national level experience and perspective on guaranteeing the right to education, as outlined in international frameworks, national constitutions, legislation, and policy, when creating the required administrative structures to ensure that the right is respected, protected, and fulfilled for all.

The Issue is divided into six parts, each focusing on a specific theme of right to education policy and practice. The first part includes an article written by RTE staff on The Role of Court Decisions in the Realisation of the Right to Education, which draws on RTE's background paper on accountability for the GEM Report 2017-8.

 

The joint general comment elaborates on the nature of State Party obligations that arise from Article 6 (b) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and Article 21 (2) the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. It expounds upon the underlying principles of interpretation that serve as a lens through which the relevant provisions of the aforementioned instruments should be understood. It further describes legislative, institutional and other measures that should be taken by States Parties to give effect to the prohibition of child marriage and to protect the rights of those at risk or affected by child marriage.

The scope of the general comment covers children in child marriages, children at risk of child marriage and women who were married before the age of 18. The document gives guidance to governments, csos, igos, child protection clusters, practitioners, individuals and groups in any effort towards the elimination of child marriage and protection of children in this context.

The joint comments includes a section (IV) on state obligations which stipulates that states must adopt institutional measures around education. In particular, it requests states parties  to "put in place measures to retain all children but especially girls in school and to raise awareness about the importance of their education." Policies states must adopt include measures to encourage pregnant girls to keep attending or returning to school. 

 

The 2018 Gender Review prepared by the Global Education Monitoring Report team, the sixth in the series, maintains the focus on a broad conception of gender equality that extends beyond counting boys and girls in classrooms. The review’s first part examines disparities in participation and skills, in education and political leadership positions, and in selected aspects of infrastructure and curricula. It also examines gender issues in professional development by exploring the role of education in three other SDGs: those concerning agriculture, health, and water and sanitation. The second part of the review analyses institutions, laws and policies to explore ways to determine and enforce accountability for gender equality in education.
 
The report reminds us that countries have made legal commitments for girls’ and women’s right to education through international treaties. Fulfilling these obligations means that governments should put in place laws and policies, which tackle the obstacles that women and girls face in accessing school and to prevent discrimination while they are in school.

This legal factsheet explains the specific legal obligations international human rights law imposes on states to eliminate gender-based violence against women and girls, including school-related gender-based violence against women and girls. 

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