Despite progress in recent years, girls continue to suffer severe disadvantages and exclusion in education systems throughout their lives. Girls’ education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives. But the challenges of gender equality remain significant and the many distinctive cultural contexts for females, particularly, across Asia’s learning environments, pose considerable problems for those seeking strategies for engagement and success. Recognising the importance of equality of rights, responsibilities, and opportunities by women and men is key to creating social conditions that enable girls and women to be educated in equal quality and measure to boys and men. Institutions of higher education in Asia also need to provide the right education to accelerate the economic, social and political empowerment of women and to become active contributors to all aspects of national development. The Asian University for Women demonstrates the extraordinary capacity for transforming women whose individual identities and intellectual capacities have been subsumed by the traditional family structure and by the cultural foundations of the societies in which they participate.
Professor NIRMALA RAO is the Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. Professor Rao is a former Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) of SOAS, University of London. After completing her PhD from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, she joined the Politics Department at Goldsmiths College where she was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2003. She has published extensively in the field of urban governance and has served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). She currently serves as a Trustee of the Learning from Experience Trust, and is a member of the Governing Body of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and of the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
Join the Yale-NUS Community as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2019.