Failing the Future: Development Objectives, Human Rights Obligations and Gender Violence in Schools
Erika R. George
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law
January 1, 2006
COMBATING GENDER VIOLENCE IN AND AROUND SCHOOLS, Fiona Leach, Claudia Mitchell, eds., 2006
Gender discrimination denies many girls equal access to education. Girls in South Asia, West Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arab States will require particular attention if the international development community’s goal of ensuring education for all children is to be reached by 2015; the gender gap between girls and boys with access to education is greatest in these regions. Often, traditional customs and practices relegate girls to subordinate status such that cultural preferences for boys or family economic constraints may direct parents to favor education for their sons but not for their daughters.
Appropriately, the international development community has urged countries to commit to advancing access to education for women and girls as a weapon to combat the attitudes and practices that perpetuate discrimination and inequality. Nevertheless, discrimination against girls based on gender continues to perpetuate the education gap between boys and girls. While much attention has been given to the discriminatory barriers that block girls’ access to school, less attention has been paid to the obstacles girls confront at school including sexual harassment and violence.
Recognizing that school based gender violence is a global phenomenon that has remained largely unexplored, despite numerous international commitments to promote girls’ education, this chapter outlines recent international development policy objectives and priorities relating to gender equality and education. It then positions these development priorities against the international human rights legal framework. Finally, the chapter concludes that failure to bridge the gap between development priorities and human rights principles by fully appreciating the costs and consequences of school-based gender violence in terms of the discrimination that it is will ensure global failure to achieve gender equality in education well into the future.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: International Human Rights, Gender, Education, Violence, Development, Discrimination
JEL Classification: A13, I20, I29, I39
Date posted: January 8, 2010 ; Last revised: February 9, 2015