chapter  9
13 Pages

Global Politics, Gender Justice, and Education: Contemporary Issues and Debates

ByAMANDA KEDDIE, MARTIN MILLS

Despite the institution of global social equity imperatives such as those represented in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, gender justice remains an elusive ideal. Indeed, in spite of the long time focus on women and gender equity within international policy (see UNIFEM, 2005-2006) and a specifi c emphasis on girls in the sphere of education (e.g., the frameworks in Dakar, 2000; Jomtein, 1990; UNESCO, 2006) women’s position in relation to poverty and oppression has, by some accounts, barely improved (Tikly, 2004). While other accounts contend that the situation for women and girls worldwide has slowly, albeit inconsistently, improved since the institution of such global imperatives, it is clear that girls as a group continue to face extensive issues of disadvantage in relation to education. In many “developing” countries girls are denied even the most basic education; in others where they do obtain access to schooling, many are the victims of sexual harassment and abuse; in many locations girls’ high illiteracy and poor retention rates are alarming, as is the quality of the education that some receive at school when compared with that provided to boys.