The gender discrimination and inequality which prevents millions of women and girls worldwide from accessing education must be urgently addressed, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, has stated on International Women’s Day (8 March).
The stark reality is that in the 21st Century, two thirds of the almost 800 million illiterate people in the world today are women, and 32 million girls worldwide have no access to schooling.
The NASUWT has produced a Declaration of Intent, which calls on governments in the UK and worldwide to make universal free primary and secondary education a reality for all girls and young women. It also calls for action to tackle violence, discrimination and exploitation against women and girls.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“It is scandalous that despite a wealth of international agreements, women and girls continue to be denied access to quality education and decent life chances as a result of gender discrimination, intimidation and violence.
“This continuing injustice robs women and girls of their dignity and denies them their opportunity to make full use of their talents, knowledge and skills for the benefit of wider society.
“Addressing this inequality should be a global priority.
“It is one of the most pressing human rights issues facing the world today.”
Notes to editors:
The NASUWT’s ‘Global Equality in Education for Women and Girls’ Declaration is supported by a range of organisations including the TUC, the Education International Unite for Quality Education campaign and End Violence Against Women.
The Declaration calls for:
universal and free primary and secondary education for girls;
sex and relationships education as an entitlement for all children, which should contribute to tackling the ongoing problem of violence against women and girls;
urgent action to ensure girls’ access to education free from violence, intimidation and sexual abuse;
decent working conditions for teachers at work and equal rights in quality public services;
investment in education, not cuts and austerity;
positive action to increase the representation of women in leadership roles;
action to end child labour.
The declaration can be found at www.nasuwt.org.uk/WomenGirlsDeclaration