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WOMEN'S LINKAGE CAUCUS

Recommendations on Bracketed Text in the WCW Draft Platform for Action
(A/CONF.177/L.1) August 30, 1995

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B. Unequal access to and inadequate educational opportunities

71. Education is a basic [retain: human] right and an essential tool for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace. Nondiscriminatory education benefits both girls and boys, and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men. Equality of access to and attainment of educational qualifications is necessary if more women are to become agents of change. Literacy of women is an important key to improving health, nutrition and education in the family, and to empowering women to participate in decision-making in society. Investing in formal and non-formal education and training for girls and women, with its exceptionally high social and economic return, has proved to be one of the best means of achieving sustainable development and economic growth that is both sustained and sustainable.

74. [amend & retain: Creation of a healthy educational and social environment, in which all (delete: human beings), men and women, boys and girls, (delete: are consistently encouraged to foster moral and spiritual values), would be extremely effective in the elimination of causes of discrimination against women and inequalities between men and women]

76. Curricula and teaching materials remain genderbiased to a large degree, and are rarely sensitive to the specific needs of girls and women. This reinforces traditional female and male roles that deny women opportunities for full and equal partnership in society. Lack of gender awareness by educators at all levels, strengthens existing inequities between males and females by reinforcing discriminatory tendencies and undermining girls' selfesteem. [amend & retain: The lack of sexual and reproductive health education has a profound impact on women and men including on adolescents][delete: taking into account the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for children and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child].

78. [retain: It can be ascertained that, particularly in the developed countries, a substantial improvement in the situation of girls at all levels of education, including the higher level, is one of the factors (delete: of) contributing to their continued progress in professional activities. Nevertheless, (delete: it can be noted that) girls and women are still concentrated in a [delete: too] limited number of [delete: the higher] branches.] Even at a higher level of educational qualification, women encounter more prejudices than men in a number of sectors, which makes it difficult for them to maximize the use of their degrees.

[Ensure women's access to quality education and training for self-reliance at all levels and in all fields and sectors]

Strategic objective B.1. Ensure equal access to education

Actions to be taken

82. By Governments:

(a) [amend & retain: Attain the goals of equal access to education without distinction as to sex, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability, or any other form of discrimination, and ensure that procedures to address grievances are established;]

(f) Increase enrollment and retention rates of girls by allocating appropriate budgetary resources, and by enlisting the support of parents and the community, as well as through campaigns, flexible school schedules, incentives, scholarships and other means to minimize the costs of girls' education to their families [amend & retain: and to facilitate parents' ability to choose (delete: quality) appropriate education for the girl child]; [retain: by ensuring that the rights of women and girls to freedom of conscience and religion are respected in educational institutions] [amend & retain: through repealing any discriminatory laws or legislation based on religion, race or culture that impact on the rights of women and girls in educational institutions];

(h) [retain: Improve the equality of education to ensure that women of all ages are provided with the knowledge, reasoning ability, skills and ethical values required to develop their full capacities in health and dignity and to participate fully in the social, economic and political process of development. In this regard, women and girls should be considered a priority group;]

Strategic objective B.2. Eradicate illiteracy among women worldwide [retain: by the year 2000]

Actions to be taken

83. By Governments, national, regional and international bodies, bilateral and multilateral donors and non-governmental organizations:

(f) [retain: Expand the definition of literacy to include scientific and technological knowledge.]

Strategic objective B.3. Improve women's access to vocational training, science and technology and continuing education

Actions to be taken

84. By Governments, in cooperation with employers, workers and trade unions, international and non-governmental organizations, including women's and youth organizations, and educational institutions:

(k) Ensure access to [amend & retain: (delete: quality) appropriate] education and training at all appropriate levels for adult women with little or no education, for women with disabilities and for documented migrant, refugee and displaced women to improve their work opportunities;

Strategic objective B.4. Develop nondiscriminatory education and training

Actions to be taken

85. By Governments, educational authorities and other educational and academic institutions:

(b) [amend & retain: Develop training programmes and materials for teachers and educators that raise awareness about the status, role and contribution of women and men in the family and society; (delete: in this context,) and which promote equality, [delete: equity], cooperation, mutual respect and shared responsibilities between girls and boys [amend & retain: at (delete: an appropriate) the earliest possible age (delete: consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child) and recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for (delete: children) adolescents to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the adolescent and safeguarding their rights to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent.] [delete: from preschool level onward] [and develop, in particular, educational modules to ensure that boys have the skills necessary to take care of their own domestic needs and to share responsibility for their household and for the care of dependents];]

(k) Remove legal and regulatory barriers to [retain: sexual and reproductive health] education within formal education [delete: regarding women's health issues];

(l) [amend & retain: Encourage, with the support of their parents and in cooperation with educational staff and institutions, the elaboration of educational programmes for girls and boys and the creation of integrated services related to youth sexuality, to raise awareness of their rights and responsibilities and to help them to assume those responsibilities, taking into account the importance of such education and services to personal development and self-esteem, as well as the urgent need to avoid unwanted pregnancy, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, and phenomena such as sexual violence and abuse];

(p) [amend & retain: Ensure that gender, cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation and religious diversity are respected in educational institutions and reflected in educational materials;]

(s) [amend & retain: Remove all the barriers to schooling (delete: of) and eliminate all forms of discrimination against pregnant girls and young mothers and provide child care and other support services to enable mothers to continue their schooling. In particular, ensure that the formal education of girls and young women is not permanently interrupted by early pregnancy and child rearing]*

Strategic objective B.5. Allocate sufficient resources for educational reforms and monitor implementation

Actions to be taken

[87. [retain: By Governments,] [retain: Invite] private and public institutions, foundations, research institutes and nongovernmental organizations:

(a) [delete: [to] mobilize additional funds [from organizations in the private sector] [, whenever necessary,] [to meet] [to assist in meeting] the costs of education [for all girls and women with a particular emphasis on under-served populations];]

(New first alternative)

delete: Be invited to mobilize additional funds to assist in meeting the costs of education for all girls and women with a particular emphasis on under-served populations.
(New second alternative)
retain: To mobilize additional funds to assist in meeting the costs of education and in promoting gender equality for all girls and women with a particular emphasis on under-served populations.

88. By multilateral development institutions, including the World Bank, regional development banks, bilateral donors and foundations [delete:,consider]:

(a) Increase[delete:ing] funding for the education and training needs of girls and women as a priority in development assistance programmes;

(b) [(delete: Maintain[ing] or) Increase[delete:ing] funding levels for education in structural adjustment and economic recovery programmes, including lending and stabilization programmes.

(New alternative)

delete: Work with recipient governments to ensure that funding for women's education is maintained or increased in structural adjustment and economic recovery programmes, including lending and stabilization programmes.

89. By international and intergovernmental organizations, especially the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at the global level:

(a) [retain: Monitor progress using educational indicators generated by national, regional and international bodies, and make Governments accountable for implementing measures to close the gap between women and men in education and training opportunities, and in the levels of achievement in all fields, particularly primary and literacy programmes];

Strategic objective B.6 [retain: To promote life-long learning [retain: educational processes] retain: for girls and women]


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