United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), June 2014
This report on ‘Privatization and its Impact on the Right to Education of Women and Girls,’ is informed by an e-consultation held via the Right to Education Project Discussion Forum, as well as over Facebook and Twitter. The discussion forum is a global, multilingual online forum that began on 15 May 2014. In addition, this written submission was also informed by a recent two-day workshop held in Geneva, Switzerland (from 13-14 June 2014) addressing privatization and the human right to education.
This report is based on a broad understanding of “privatization” which includes public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the education system. It highlights that privatization in many cases exacerbates gender discrimination in the area of education, in part because in many countries parents favor the education of boys over girls. As quality education becomes more costly, studies show that boys are often given priority over girls. This problem is also further compounded by other issues which emerge within the context of privatization, such as poor regulation and oversight of private education providers. The submitting organizations conclude that in order for women and girls to be able to realize their right to education, as well as their rights to non-discrimination and equality more broadly, it is imperative that education be seen as a public good, and not as a commodity.