Tackling Gender Inequality from the Early Years

Strategies for building a gender-transformative pre-primary education system



Education has the immense transformational power to combat social inequalities and gender bias – and our greatest opportunity lies in the potential to tackle these inequalities in the earliest years before they are consolidated.

After three decades of focused efforts on girls’ education and gender equality, we have made progress in reaching gender parity in school participation, with an increasing number of countries reaching equal access to education for both boys and girls.

Access to early childhood education has increased over the last two decades, with global enrolment rates showing gender parity in access among boys and girls.

Despite this gender parity in access, the pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle gender inequities and address harmful gender stereotypes while the youngest learners are absorbing them.

This research explores the ways in which pre-primary education can become more gender-transformative at a system level and presents 11 key strategies to support this goal.

The strategies are organized around five interconnected action areas: planning and budgeting; curriculum; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance.


These strategies can help governments and policymakers proactively incorporate gender responsiveness into the design and implementation of their pre-primary education policy and programming, following a system-wide perspective.

Download the report here.

Source: UNICEF – Office of Research-Innocenti

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