Challenges to gender equality and access in education: Perspectives from South Africa and Sudan
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Original versionNomlomo, V., Farag, A., & Holmarsdottir, H. Challenges to gender equality and access in education: Perspectives from South Africa and Sudan.
The achievement of the target of Education for All (EFA) by 2015 is a global concern. Worldwide many countries have committed themselves to various initiatives and efforts to improve children’s access to education, particularly girls, who are often denied access to education owing to entrenched socio-cultural practices and gender stereotypes. In post-conflict countries like South Africa and Sudan educational changes have taken place over the past decade. As a result, inclusive and non-discriminatory education policies have been adopted in these countries to redress inequalities in education, policies that target not only free and equal access to education but also improving the quality of education, particularly among the poor and marginalised communities in these two countries. Both countries are, however, still struggling to address issues of equal access to education and gender equality owing to cultural and socio-economic factors in the two contexts. This paper explores experiences of female children in primary schools in selected contexts in South Africa and Sudan and the extent to which their experiences reflect unequal opportunities of access to education and gender inequality. Ultimately what becomes clear is that access to education and gender equality should go beyond numbers to include equality in terms of learning opportunities and resources, treatment at school, equal participation and employment opportunities across socio-cultural and racial lines