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Consultancy - Study on girls’ education and gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean


Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACRO)

Terms of Reference for Consultancy - Study on girls’ education and gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean


The consultant will produce a study on “girls’ education and gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The aim of the study is to present a comprehensive picture of progress made since the 1990 EFA global commitment to achieving gender equality in education and what is now required for addressing existing gaps, bottlenecks and barriers.  This study is part of the UNICEF commitment towards achieving the rights of quality education for all, with a special emphasis on girls.


Since the education for all conference in Jomtien in 1990 and the development of MDGs goals which highlight gender equality in education, countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region have made significant progress towards increasing access, permanence and completion of primary and secondary education, as shown in international studies and statistics, particularly from UIS in Global Education monitoring reports.  Furthermore, international comparisons on learning achievement as related to girls show a sustained improvement in education performance, often more significant than with boys.

A gender parity index has been used to assess differences in education achievement between boys and girls, has been defined as the value of given indicator for girls divided by that for boys.   Based on this index, gender parity has been achieved in primary education and in several LAC countries educational achievement favours girls in all aspects: enrolment, permanence, completion, and learning achievement. The school life expectancy for girls is now – in most cases – higher for girls.

A recent study promoted by OEI shows the extremely high proportion of female teachers at pre-school, primary and lower secondary levels, in the Ibero-American countries, which illustrates the significant feminisation of the teaching profession. This is not a positive trend for multiple reasons, including the fact that in most countries, teacher’s salaries at education level are the lowest in the public sector.

Despite the impressive achievements, existing bottlenecks and barriers reinforce educational disparities against girls, especially for those found in remote, rural areas and/or are from specific indigenous or afro-descendent populations.  In addition, gender equality is not necessarily promoted within the education sector as illustrated by the gender bias in national curriculums and the existence of significant gender based violence found in school settings.  This situation results in the inequality for women to achieve as males, a wider range of professional employment opportunities and fair/equal pay.

Taking into consideration all the above comments, understanding the multiple aspects of gender equality in education are still a challenge, requiring additional information and analysis.  


The consultant is expected to:

  • Review education statistics for the time period of 1990 – 2013, in primary and secondary education and progression of education achievement for both boys and girls, highlighting the more significant disparities within and between countries on the basis of existing data.
  • Review existing studies and research on gender equality in the education system as a whole, in addition to a review of specific educational components (curriculum, school environment and participation, school safety, teacher training, and school management).
  • Identify good practices and strategies to achieve gender equality in education and provide related recommendations based on the analysis.


The final product will be a study on “girls’ education and gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The product mentioned above should be written in Spanish or English. It should contain in addition to the points identified in the section “Tasks of the Consultant,” an executive summary, concrete recommendations, conclusions and a complete bibliography.


  • Advanced university degree in education, social sciences, gender studies, international development or a related field
  • Ten years of professional work experience at the national and international levels in the related fields of education and gender
  • Current expert knowledge of recent development in fields related to education and gender in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Strong research and analytical skills, both qualitative and quantitative
  • Excellent writing skills in Spanish or English


The consultancy will take place over a period of two months from October to November 2013.


The consultant will work from home, in regular communication with the supervisor through telephone and e-mail and other means.


The consultant will be paid in the following manner:

  • First payment (20%) upon submission of a detailed outline of the study
  • Second payment (30%) upon submission of the revised study
  • Third and last payment (50%) upon submission upon completion and full satisfaction of the work.


To apply, please submit an up-to-date UN Personal History P-11 Form (attached), curriculum vitae as well as a proposed conceptual and methodological framework, an outline for the study and budget to: The deadline to receive applications is 2 October 2013.




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