Gender and disability

Whilst combined in this section, it is well understood that gender and disability are separate issues and will be treated as such in programming

The development of inclusive, gender equitable child-friendly learning environments is included as a core area under the approach to working with complementary service providers under MEC’s revised strategy (March 2016). The MEC’s situation analysis (2015) points to a lack of both quantitative and qualitative gender disaggregated data at the national and state/regional level and within complementary education systems.

As part of the next stages of detailed analysis – of both complementary education systems and the political economy of education, the program will focus on developing a detailed analysis of:

  1. The specific environmental and power dynamics, both in communities generally and within schools and administrations of each education system, the impact on how girls, boys and marginalised groups are included and learn in schools and how women and men participate in decision making in education
  2. Current approaches to gender, disability and other diversity and disparity issues across ethnic and monastic education systems.

This analysis will in turn inform all aspects of further strategy development, including how complementary education systems can strengthen and extend their inclusion strategies, how to further understanding of issues of gender, disability and inclusion more broadly amongst key stakeholders and how MEC can support actions to promote inclusive policy and practices in the complementary education systems and the education sector more broadly.

In line with the recent recommendation to the Myanmar Education Thematic Working Group to move ‘from sex disaggregation to multi-dimensional, nested analysis’ and ‘from situation analysis to systematic monitoring’, MEC will support strengthened capacity and tools for disaggregated data collection and analysis, ‘mainstreaming’ of gender and equity issues across programmes and strategies and improved systems for ongoing monitoring and the identification of progress, problems and trends.

However these initiatives take time and where required MEC would look to support specific research to analyse the educational needs of girls and boys, and children with disabilities within ethnic and monastic education. The analysis and design process will draw on the extensive expertise of MEC Education Advisor in gender analysis and developing inclusive education strategies. Additional dedicated expertise will be resourced, through staffing or contracting, to develop and deliver the analysis and subsequent inclusion strategies.

Whilst MEC will focus on strengthening equity and inclusion within the monastic and ethnic systems, it is recognised that these- and other dimensions of disparity and diversity, are cross cutting issues that would benefit from a coherent overall approach across the whole education sector, as well as inter-sectorally.

MEC will continue to work actively within the various technical working groups of the Education Thematic Working Group (or equivalent sector coordination mechanism) related to gender and disability inclusion, to support shared learning and joint advocacy and research. With regards to disability, it is recognised that the sustainable development of the specific elements required to support fully inclusive education (e.g. diagnostic systems, development of cadres of expertise to offer support in specific areas such as mobility, sign languages, Braille, and parental support) should most appropriately be led by the formal system. As far as possible, MEC will seek opportunities to support the inclusion of ethnic and monastic systems in these developments, as they evolve.

The MEC’s 2013 Gender and Disability guidelines originally developed to support the programming of Development Fund partners, can be found in Resources and Tools. These guidelines will be reviewed in the coming months for technical quality and suitability to the needs and requirements of complementary education systems.