Gender equality in general education means equal access to all levels and fields of general education, which should create equal opportunities for all girls and boys in formal and non-formal education.
The issue is not limited to the adequacy and physical accessibility of nursery schools and the school network; it’s about girls and boys actually being able to use or using these opportunities, including the learning opportunities offered outside the formal education system.
In order to assess and measure opportunities, quantitative data is used to determine the actual participation of female and male students in the education system, as well as in subject courses, hobby activities, etc. If differences are found, it must be determined why boys participate in hobby groups less than girls and which hobbies are dominated by either gender group, and consideration should be given to balancing opportunities.
Equal opportunities in the education process means that
- in primary, lower and upper secondary education, girls and boys study according to the same curriculum and the same subjects, gain the same experiences and skills, and are subject to the same demands and expectations free from gender stereotypes;
- there are no major differences between girls and boys in the choice of subjects and electives in upper secondary school;
- the teaching methods and materials used are free from gender stereotypes, especially outdated gender roles;
- the individual differences in the learning styles of students (individualisation) are taken into account and attempts are made to support the development of diverse masculinities and femininities.
It can be said that gender equality in educational outcomes at the societal level exists when
- the length of the educational journey, academic qualifications, professional certificates, diplomas, etc. do not differ significantly by gender;
- in addition to education, women and men have acquired equal status and career opportunities in the labour market, entrepreneurship, participation in decision-making processes, economic independence, share of responsibilities and duties in work and family life, etc;
- there is an equal number of women and men working in all levels of education.
At the level of educational institutions – nursery schools and schools, the entities that run them – gender equality means
- gender balance across all groups and levels of educators;
- equal valuation of female and male employees, including in terms of pay;
- a democratic and fair organisational culture;
- avoiding setting women and men, boys and girls against each other and valuing them differently.
At the individual level, gender equality means that girls and boys, women and men perceive that
- they are treated equally;
- they have equal requirements, norms and expectations, equal attention, instruction and support;
- they are assessed according to equal criteria;
- there is mental and physical security, freedom from harassment based on sex and sexual harassment;
- the relations in and between gender groups are good, they have the right to express their opinions;
- they are free from restrictive stereotypical role expectations when developing their self-perception and gender identity.
If you feel that you’ve been treated unequally, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.