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CEDAW assignment 1

Q: Elaborate and analyze the educational rights protected by
CEDAW. Is the protection sufficient to protect women in
educational institutions?
The “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women” short as CEDAW is the international bill of rights for women. It defines
what constitutes discrimination against women and girls and puts out a detailed
framework for tackling gender inequality. CEDAW is divided into 30 articles that
talk about women’s issues and rights very comprehensively.
Article 10 of CEDAW is dedicated to the education of women. Article 10 states
“States shall ensure that women have equal rights with men in education,
including equal access to schools, vocational training, curricula and
educational resources. States shall eliminate stereotypes of the roles of women
and men through revising school materials and teaching methods.”
Therefore, these are the educational rights that women hold:
1. No discrimination in the access of education at ALL levels.
2. Same access to studies as well as achievement of diplomas in all categories
of educational establishments.
3. Both rural and urban areas should be provided with the same quality of
education related things such as staff, equipment, premises.
4. Any type of stereotyping in the curriculum, school programs and textbooks
should not be tolerated and it should be eradicated as soon as possible.
5. Same opportunities should be provided to men and women when it comes to
scholarships and study grants especially the abroad ones.
6. Same opportunities should be provided in the fields of sports and physical
7. Women should have access to mental health education for their well-being.
As we can see, CEDAW’s article 10 covers even the minor issues women face in
the field of education so they really do seem sufficient for the protection of women
in educational institutions but it all comes down to their implementation and how
people are handling it and all the obstacles being faced in the process.
First, poverty is a significant obstacle here as schools impose direct or hidden fees
which forces poor parents to choose which of their children to send to school and
the families are most probable to choosing their sons over daughters here since
educating a boy will likely have the maximum economic benefit to the family. This
also negatively impacts girls from poor families. Poverty is not gender neutral and
the CEDAW Committee draws attention to its gender dimensions.
Second, any measures to ensure equal education for girls must address genderbased violence. Girls face harassment on the way to school and at school so even
the classroom is not necessarily safe for girls. Male students and teachers sexually
harass and assault girls at school with impunity. During times of conflict, schools
are often (unlawfully) targeted, increasing the risk of death and injury for all
learners. There is an increased risk for girls of physical and sexual violence by
armed forces. Out of fear for their safety, families will keep girls at home.
Third, gender norms in the classroom and community undermine the
transformative potential of education. Women are left out from management
positions in education. Women continue to be ‘propelled into what is socially
regarded as low-status occupations.’ Girls cluster in humanities, food and nutrition,
cosmetology and clerical studies. Discriminatory gender norms also play out in
classroom dynamics.
CEDAW proposes innovative recommendations to tackle these obstacles. It calls
for gender equality education throughout all levels of school, to re-evaluate
expensive uniform and textbook policies, to increase the use of information
communication technology to target rural girls and women; to penalize cyberbulling; to use temporary special measures to ensure women are employed at all
levels of education and to ensure that donor programs uphold and further human
rights commitments. Therefore, yes, the protection sufficient to protect women in
educational institutions