1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view to achieving the full realization of this right:
(a) Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;
(c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;
(d) Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible for those persons who have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education;
(e) The development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively pursued, an adequate fellowship system shall be established, and the material conditions of teaching staff shall be continuously improved.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) or the Covenant stipulates some of the most fundamental rights to equality in education in its Article 13. In its first section, it deals with the right to education of all people.
In particular, the right is given to all people for their education regardless of their sex. An important subtext without implementation around much of the world in many ways. The ideal of education in the documents is for the building of a person with a sense of dignity.
The purpose is to also respect human rights and the fundamental freedoms of individuals within the society. By which I mean, the international or global community for all of us. If a woman is unable to exercise her freedoms in education, and if this extends into the sphere of a free society along with the positive virtues including “understanding, tolerance and friendships,” then this violates the spirit of the Covenant.
The virtues extend across the traditional and identifiable boundaries of race, ethnicity, and religion. Within this context, we find the development of greater possibilities of peace for everyone in the world. The second part of the Covenant speaks to the full realization of the right of women to education; everyone but, by direct implication and relevance to this article, women in particular.
The stipulations provide a firm foundation that, at a minimum, the primary education levels are to be available regardless of a child’s, or someone’s for that matter, lot in life. That is to say, any and all people should have a primary education of some form, and this education should be mandatory.
The provisions for the second school come out somewhat different from the compulsory or mandatory aspect of primary education. Anyone can recall people within their school, peers, who simply disappeared from the attendance list of all classes because of dropping out. They became dropouts.
The inclusion of the curriculum is across the board from arts to vocational with the appropriate educational tools and teachers available for a “progressive introduction of free education,” i.e., education is a right from primary to secondary school with compulsory provision in the former and the right t the proper access and quality of provision of the latter.
The post-secondary or higher education provisions are to be made in the same manner accessible and quality but not mandatory. Something different in these latter subsection stipulations. The nature of the encouragement for more primary education.
Then this becomes the free choice of the individuals in the society but with the encouragement to pursue said education; regardless, the proper provisions are part and parcel of an adequate post-secondary education.
If you as a woman are denied this, and if knowledgeable of these documents, then you can make progressive steps to improve the conditions and livelihood of other women in need or want of an education.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3, Article 7, and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1993).
- Beijing Declaration(1995).
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
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