Persistent gender disparity in schools in rural Balochistan, Pakistan

The status of girls’ education in the rural areas of Balochistan province in Pakistan is alarmingly low from the perspective of access, enrollment, retention and quality in the schools.

The status of girls’ education in the rural areas of Balochistan province in Pakistan is alarmingly low from the perspective of access, enrollment, retention and quality in the schools. The successive provincial and federal governments have devised education development strategies through various education policies and practices to achieve the targets of Education for All (EFA) and gender equality in schools. The provincial and national targets were previously aligned with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs), and now with the UN SDGs, as well as the framework of action agreed in the Incheon Declaration by all the member countries to achieve MDG 4 by 2030.Various donors and international organizations have been actively supporting, technically and financially, the national education system of Pakistan. National education policy (NEP) 1998-2010 was reviewed in 2005 on the pretext of its failure to achieving the desired results and its drifting away from the global development goals. The current NEP was formulated in 2009, which devolved education completely to the provinces and the latter were responsible to make implementation plans at the provincial levels. However, the current data shows, after around ten years of NEP 2009 and completion of Balochistan Education Sector Plan (BESP) 2013-18, there is hardly any significant progress in girls’ enrolment and retention in the schools in rural areas of Balochistan. Therefore, this research project investigates NEP 2009 and BESP 2013-18, which were not so effective to achieve the targets of gender equity and parity in rural schools of the province.  

Project timeline: 2018 - 2022

Key contributors: Javed Anwar, Emily Gray and Elise Hunkin

This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:

4.1-  Ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education

4.5- Eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations

4.6- Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy

4.7- Ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development

5.1- End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.5- Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life

5.9- Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.