Webinar: Moving beyond gender parity — why is gender important in early childhood education?

UNICEF Education - Events
4 min readMar 30, 2022
On October 22, 2021, children with their mothers participate in a workshop about early child development (ECD) organized by the Comprehensive Child Development Community Centre (CECODII), a UNICEF-supported centre in Chirrepec, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. ©UNICEF/Willocq

Hosts: UNICEF, Plan International

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Time: 6 am — 7.30 am Eastern Time (90 minutes)

Languages: English, French


The recognition that gender equality can be achieved in, through, and by education also applies to early childhood education.

In the context of global shrinking civic space, rollback on rights, and anti-gender movements, it is important to continue to advocate for gender equality, nationally, regionally, and globally. Programming and influencing work on gender equality must begin in early childhood.

The Early Childhood Education(ECE) sector has significant potential to play a role in tackling gender inequalities and gender socialisation processes and addressing gender stereotypes and harmful gender norms at the stage when they are being formed. This could significantly contribute to preventing harmful social norms and stereotypes from occurring in the first place.

However, the ECE subsector does not always deliver on this potential, with far less attention given to gender issues in early childhood than at the primary and secondary school levels. Although there are some actors in the ECE space who do work at the intersection of gender and ECE, the importance of and need for this work is not widely recognised or addressed.

In this webinar, ‘Moving beyond gender parity — why is gender important in early childhood education’, UNICEF and Plan International are collaborating to advocate for gender-responsive and transformative policies and practices in the pre-primary education subsector, recognising the potential for this to address discriminatory and limiting gender stereotypes, roles, and norms and advance gender equality. Addressing SDGs 4.2 (by 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary school) and SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), this webinar will shine a spotlight on why gender responsive and gender transformative ECE is so important, and what that means for programming and influencing.

Webinar Overview

This webinar will provide information, practical tools, and approaches, and share lessons learned from countries working on gender and ECE, specifically, those that can support in addressing social and gender norms and stereotypes.

Through presentations, tool sharing, round table discussions, and new research and evidence, this webinar will delve into how Gender-Responsive Education Sector Planning in ECE provides an opportunity for strengthening education systems, institutionalizing gender analysis, and effectively integrating gender issues into planning processes.

Featuring case studies and reflections from a variety of contexts, this webinar further explores how countries have adapted to context gender-responsive ECE, outlining successes and potential for partners and governments embarking on the same.


  • Jennifer Vu, Early Childhood Education Consultant, ECE Global Programme, UNICEF
  • Nicole Rodger, Policy and Advocacy Lead - ECD, Plan International


  • Divya Lata, Early Childhood Education Specialist, ECE Global Programme, UNICEF
  • Christin McConnell, Education Specialist and thematic lead for Early Childhood Education, Global Partnership for Education
  • Stefania Vindrola, Innocenti — UNICEF Office of Research
  • Bella Baghdasaryan, Innocenti — UNICEF Office of Research
  • Melanie Swan, Technical Lead for ECD, Plan International
  • Yona Nestel, Inclusive Quality Education Policy & Advocacy Lead, Plan International
  • Clara Alemann, Director of Programs, Equimundo
  • Anita Anastacio, Lead for ECD in Humanitarian Settings portfolio, LEGO Foundation
  • Hanne Huysmans, Strategic Education Advisor, VVOB — Education for Development
  • Beverly Mumbo, Programme Officer, The Forum for African Women Educationalists — FAWE


Engaging Men in Nurturing Care — Equimundo

International Men and Gender Equality (IMAGES) 15-year report and interactive dataset — Equimundo

Global Boyhood Initiative — Equimundo

Extended abstract: Effectiveness of a gender-responsive pedagogy model in early childhood education in South Africa

The Gender-Responsive Pedagogy for Early Childhood Education Toolkit — for teachers and school leaders.

Build to Last Framework

Advancing Positive Gender Norms and Socialization through UNICEF Programmes: monitoring and documenting change

Promoting Gender Equality through UNICEF-Supported Programming in Young Child Survival and Development: Operational Guidance. UNICEF.

Open educational resources to promote gender equality in early childhood development. VVOB.

Gender Toolkit: Integrating Gender in Programming for Every Child in South Asia. UNICEF.

Chick, K., Heilman-Houser, R., Hunter, M. (2002), “The Impact of Child Care on Gender Role Development and Gender Stereotypes”, Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 29, №3.

The Pilot of Program P-ECD in Lebanon: Evaluation Results and Lessons Learned. Promundo-US and ABAAD.

Synthesis Report: Research into Gender Equality and Early Childhood Development in Eleven Countries in Asia. Plan International.

This event is proudly hosted by UNICEF and Plan International.



UNICEF Education - Events

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