Gender Dynamics

Gender Mainstreaming

As we saw earlier, gender issues in the supply and demand of education are interconnected. If we address only one element of the problem rather than seeing the "bigger picture," the actions will be not be sustainable. Therefore, gender mainstreaming approaches may require corresponding gender interventions. For example, to address the factors contributing to girls' non-enrollment, targeted activities, such as community mobilization to encourage parents to send their daughters to school, could be very effective. In another example, in order to encourage families to permit young women to participate in vocational training, programs are likened to female-specific Village Savings and Loans Associations or other capital- and credit-building mechanisms.

To ensure that girls and young women will be entering "girl-friendly" schools, it is important that there be female teachers and separate latrines for girls, and that books and other learning resources reflect girls' life experiences. If parents learn that there are no female teachers, that girls have to share a bathroom with boys and that there are some allegations of sexual exploitation by teachers, they may soon change their minds about letting their daughters attend school.

To ensure lasting results, gender issues should always be considered in relation to all education and protection interventions including data collection, analysis and monitoring and evaluation activities.

Definition: Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA)

a self-selected group of people who pool their money into a fund from which members can borrow; money is paid back with interest, causing the fund to grow; the regular savings contributions to the group are deposited with an end date in mind for distribution of all or part of the total funds (including interest earnings) to the individual members, usually on the basis of a formula that links payout to the amount saved; this lump sum distribution provides a large amount of money that each member can then apply to his/her own needs