Women and the Teaching Profession

Exploring the Feminisation Debate

image of Women and the Teaching Profession
The debates on women and teaching have been wide ranging and, in some cases, contentious. They have included reviews of why the profession can become gender imbalanced in favour of women, the impacts of this on learning processes and student education, and the implications on women’s overall empowerment within society and the economy.

Most of the research to date has concentrated on developed countries, such as the UK, Australia and Canada, where women have been a significant majority in the teaching workforce for decades. This study looks at how the teacher feminisation debate applies in developing countries. Drawing on the experiences of Dominica, Lesotho, Samoa, Sri Lanka and India, it provides a strong analytical understanding of the role of female teachers in the expansion of education systems, and the surrounding gender equality issues.

Co-published with UNESCO.




The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small island state – 29 miles long and sixteen miles wide or 754 square kilometres (291 sq miles) – in the Caribbean Sea, which lies in-between two French islands (overseas departments): Guadeloupe to its north-west and Martinique to its south-east. According to an estimate of July 2009, the population is about 72,660. It is a green, very mountainous and rugged country. The capital is Roseau. The island is divided into 10 parishes: (1) St Andrew; (2) St David; (3) St George; (4) St John; (5) St Joseph; (6) St Luke; (7) St Mark; (8) St Patrick; (9) St Paul; and (10) St Peter (See map). In 1978, Dominica became an independent nation.


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