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Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Education Sector Gender Analysis

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ARDD is acting as the gender focal point of the Education Sector Working Group for the Syria Response in Jordan. The organization shares this post with MECI (Middle East Children's Institute), and save the children. Within the framework of this assignment, the IATF education sector analysis report has been developed. The report presents the results of the Education Sector Gender Analysis conducted by the Sector’s Gender Focal Points. The services being delivered to Syrian Refugees under the sector include: Formal education, Non Formal Education and Informal education. The purpose of the gender analysis was to assess the gender dimensions of the education needs and challenges of Syrian refugee children in Jordan. Findings and learning from the analysis will inform humanitarian education service delivery in a gender-sensitive manner. The gender analysis was undertaken through desk review of education sector documents, focus groups and a workshop process. Qualitative data was analyzed by categorizing information collected under the thematic areas of the analysis. Quantitative data was analyzed with tabulations and frequencies to supplement the qualitative data. The gender analysis has shown that children have been used as soldiers, porters and helpers for armed groups in Syria, with boys as young as 15 having been used in active combat and 14-year-olds filling support roles. The crisis has also exacerbated the number of underage girls forced/or going into early marriage, which is encouraged as a form of ‘protection’ and a way for families to keep the ‘honor’ of their daughters. Although most children are now attending school, the gender analysis has established that some families continue to depend on income from children, especially teenage boys, working to cover their basic needs. Due to the Syrian refugee crisis, Jordan’s formal government schools have had to quickly accommodate a large influx of Syrian students. This has placed more pressure on the educational infrastructure as well as teaching staff. The gender analysis has shown that school attendance among Syrian refugee students in formal schools varies widely by age group and, to some extent, gender; with more children attending school at ages 6-11 for both boys and girls. A lower attendance rate was noted among older Syrian boy and girl students aged 12-17. Overall, more girls were attending school more than boys most of who opt into child labor to support their families. While refugee boys and girls said “learning/gaining knowledge” as the biggest factor in their schooling; they noted several factors that affect their school attendance, including (among others): low interest in going to school, violence at school, distance to and from school; the quality of education is not good, parents do not feel that education is important/ applicable for the child, they have never been enrolled in school before in any location, financial constraints, lack of available schools in the area or insufficient space in the school, cost of school materials , overcrowding in schools, not having an Ministry of Interior (MoI) card[1]. Children with a disability found it difficult to find appropriate school facilities. In addition, the gender analysis found the characteristics of the head of the household affect the enrollment of Syrian children in school. While younger Syrian boys with an uneducated parent attended school, in comparison older boys who opt or are encouraged to earn income for their household. In contrast, older Syrian girls with an uneducated parent attended formal education. Also notable, in terms of gender, Syrian boys and girls with female headed households had a slightly higher likelihood of attending formal schools. This report is the work of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) Education Sector Gender Focal Points and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Youth Manager with the technical support of Senior GenCap Advisers, Sarah Martin and Simon Opolot, who guided the design and implementation of the study and data analysis. The team would like to thank education sector partners for availing the documents used in the literature review component of the gender analysis, and the members of Education Sector Working Group (ESWG) for participating in the workshop process that generated primary data for the gender analysis. Lastly, this acknowledgement would be incomplete without special appreciation of Farrukh Waseem Mirza (Education Specialist/ESWG Coordinator-UNICEF); Nujoud Al-Salem (Education Program Coordinator-Save the Children, Jordan) and the Sector Gender Focal Points Network (SGFPN) Co-chairs - Yukiko Koyama (UNHCR), Nicole Carn (WFP) and Katia Urteaga Villanueva (UNICEF) - for their leadership oversight during the gender analysis process.

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