Education International (EI) will take part in the discussions of the 50th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW50, New York, 27 February-10 March 2006), which this year will look into mechanisms for improving women’s representation in decision making bodies.
Every year, the UN Commission on the Status of Women assesses aspects of implementation of the Platform for Action adopted by the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995). This year, the work of the CSW will focus on
- Enhancing women’s participation in development: establishing an environment favourable to gender equality and women’s advancement, particularly in the fields of education, health and work;
- Participation of women and men on equal conditions in decision-making processes at all levels.
The EI delegation, consisting of representatives of teachers’ unions from Canada and the Philippines, will join other trade union delegations led by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). Trade unions, which have taken massive steps to ensure fair representation of women in their decision making bodies, will support the measures recommended by the UN to achieve gender equality. EI will also ask governments to adopt strong measures to fill the gap between girls and boys in access to education. Each year of primary education is equivalent to an increase of 10 to 20% in women's wages throughout their lives; moreover, every additional year of education reduces the risk of the premature death of young children by 5 to 10%. Still all official statistics show that a higher number of girls drop out of school, and that the imbalance is already established at the time of enrolment. According to the UNFPA report for 2005 on the state of world population, out of 65 developing countries, only half managed to reach gender equality in primary education; that rate falls to 20% for secondary education and only 8% in higher education. The work of EI at the CSW in New York is part of the EI campaign for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Contact: Marta Scarpato, equality coordinator, tel. + 32 2 224 06 011