A growing number of African officials trained in gender through GCI
2022 was a busy year for the Gender at the Center Initiative (GCI), with gender-responsive education planning activities taking place in several countries in the West African region as well as in Mozambique.
Two editions of the multi-country short course on gender-responsive educational planning were conducted: a Francophone edition and, for the first time, a Lusophone edition. In total, nearly 100 education professionals from 21 countries, including GCI target countries, were trained by IIEP in identifying and measuring gender inequalities in and through education, and in gender-responsive education sector analysis and planning.
The fully online training program consists of three sequential modules, covering a general introduction to gender issues in education and the integration of gender into sector analysis and planning. Through an online learning platform and regular live online sessions, participants can exchange and learn from each other's experiences and consolidate skills they can later use for gender mainstreaming.
Building real awareness
In addition to these trainings, GCI has provided a series of "tailor-made" trainings, adapted to the specific contexts and needs of its member countries. For example, two trainings were conducted in Mozambique on gender-sensitive education planning and gender-based violence in schools (GBV). Meanwhile, in partnership with UNGEI, IIEP coordinated and facilitated two trainings in Nigeria: one focused on gender responsive education planning and gender transformative leadership, and the second one on the transposition of the recent National Policy on Gender in Education, adopted by the Federal Government in 2021, into national law. Finally, in Chad, IIEP conducted a policy dialogue workshop on integrating gender equality into education planning activities, and in Sierra Leone, Ministry of Education staff were able to work on gender-responsive educational planning and statistics.
In total, 372 government education officers benefited directly from capacity building through the GCI program. For many, this has been a realization of the extent of gender inequalities in education systems, and a real wake-up call.
"I have been more enlightened about my role as a gender focal point. I learned that I have to be the change I want to see."
The trainings have an operational ambition, the aim being to change the practice of actors within education systems. As Pascal Edesseu, in charge of monitoring school performance at the Department of Guidance and Scholarships (Ministry of Education and Literacy in Côte d'Ivoire), said: "After this training, I feel able to contribute to the review of the sector plan that is underway, and to ensure that gender-sensitive education policies and budgeting prevail in the next three-year operational plan."
Created in 2019 when France held the presidency of the G7, the Gender at the Center Initiative (GCI) aims to encourage the integration of a gender perspective in developing education policies in 8 African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Chad. Training on gender mainstreaming is one of the three components supported by IIEP-UNESCO Dakar, co-coordinator of the Initiative, along with the provision of technical support to Ministries of Education and the production of knowledge.