Gender equity and education, core tenets of SDGs 4 and 5, are issues with significant overlap. The Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the issues these Goals seek to address. 147 million children have missed a significant portion of in-person learning, with 24 million students across multiple learning levels predicted never to return to schooling. Education access is also a core target for programs that address gender disparities, alongside the inclusion of women in political advocacy and leadership, and reducing gender-based violence.

The following GlobalWA members work to address matters of education access and improve gender disparities with solutions to unique challenges. These are but a few of the strategies employed by our members to address education needs and gender disparities. Also read in this issue about Rachel Hartgen, Senior Director, Education and Adolescent Empowerment, Program Strategy & Impact at CARE , as well as how Sahar Education has evolved and adapted their programs in response to the Taliban restrictions on girls’ and women’s education, and how Pygmy Survival Alliance has empowered and transformed their community through programs that teach women and children how to read.

Widespread structural change: Partnerships and training

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has worked extensively in the areas of gender equity and empowerment, aiming to dissolve socio-economic barriers to opportunities for women, promote and encourage women to be autonomous and participate in the economy, and inculcating the integration of gender-based considerations across all aspects of their programs. An example of this integration is the Gender Equality Toolbox, a guiding set of documents that disseminate the central principles of program development with a gender-based focus, and the flexibility of such ideas being deployable in versatile and idiosyncratic scenarios. While addressing gender equality in any given region requires a unique and informed approach, the Toolbox distills core principles flexible enough to guide organizations no matter the individualistic tenets of their target system and is one of several initiatives by the Foundation to tackle global challenges in gender equality.

Read the full article about gender equity and education access by Aneesh Chatterjee at Global Washington.