The Prime Minister was a panelist with, among others, the Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, where they discussed the topic: Call to action to advance gender equality and girls' and women's empowerment in and through education and Leaving no one behind.
The Prime Minister of Aruba spoke about everything Aruba is doing on the issue of gender equality and inclusivity.
The Prime Minister participated in different forums of interest, and during the Transforming Education Summit 2022,\she spoke about education in Aruba.
First, the Prime Minister explained how Aruba dealt with teaching during the Covid19 pandemic. She explained that all schools closed for three months and how in-person classes resumed. The reason for resuming classes in person was that women, the elderly, and children were the most affected by the pandemic.
Regarding gender equality in education in Aruba, the Prime Minister shared some data.
In Aruba, the data indicates that boys and girls who know how to read and write are equal. About 97% of people aged 15 and over are considered literate, and there is no distinction between boys and girls.
While Aruba is making more efforts to eliminate the educational gap that exists between the genders, it is notable that there are more women registered in secondary schools and the university.
Women are twice as likely to pursue advanced education. The percentage in 2016 shows that 21% of women went on to higher education compared to 11% of men.
However, the difference is also noticeable when it comes to STEM studies, in which the participation of women is only a fraction compared to men. To counter this, Supernova started the STEM GAP Project to create more interest and encourage e women's participation in STEM education.
According to the prime minister, this situation is not something specific to Aruba.
Globally more women pursue higher education than men, which indicates that this lack of interest is a worldwide concern. It is essential to know the possible origin of this problem. Certain gender norms and expectations can also impact men, their motivations, and their desires to study something different.
In Aruba, the national education plan is based on sustainable development goal number 4 (SDG 4), aligned with the principles of equality.
Additionally, they have just finished the first “National Gender Policy” to address gender inequality and ensure that there is quality education for all.
As a result, it is imperative to ensure boys are not excluded when carrying out gender equality efforts in the same way as girls. Education based on equality is beneficial for men, women, and society.
Finally, the Prime Minister stated: “If we pursue better education and a fairer society, the country will prosper more. In Aruba, we are committed to this and look forward to learning from others and working together to make the necessary changes. It is something that we as leaders have as a duty to future generations. As I said before, women are the most affected by the pandemic, and if we do not consider it during the recovery, we will risk losing everything that women have fought for and achieved."