With the launch of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) in 2015, the international community committed to providing inclusive and equitable quality education for all (SDG4) as well as achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls (SDG5). The Global Goals also emphasize the need to “leave no one behind” by focusing on those furthest behind first, such as those affected by crisis. In line with this, the Education 2030 Framework for Action stresses the importance of providing education in “safe, supportive and secure learning environments free from violence” and recommends a stronger, better coordinated response to ensure the protective space of education is maintained during crises and subsequent recovery efforts.
In response to these global commitments, the INEE Guidance Note on Gender provides strategies to ensure that girls, boys, women, and men in contexts of conflict and crisis equally enjoy the protection and learning outcomes that quality education can provide. It also outlines principles for gender-responsive programming, in alignment with the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies. The Guidance Note on Gender shows how attention to gender dynamics and social constraints will result in better education for all crisis-affected populations and help build inclusive, equitable education systems for the future.
This guidance note also responds to recent developments in the humanitarian context, including the historic commitment made by G7 partners to quality education for girls in crisis situations. The ensuing Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls, and Women in Developing Countries recognizes that quality education can contribute to peace and stability as well as positive health and life outcomes for all. It is critical that the development community now harnesses this global momentum by working together to break the particular barriers that prevent too many girls and boys in situations of crisis and conflict from accessing the education they need. It is our hope that this Guidance Note on Gender will help better equip those at the frontlines of this work to do just that.