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.




Samoa consists of 9 islands in the Pacific Ocean between 10 and 15 degrees south of the equator, located to the north east of New Zealand, within a cluster of island nations which include Fiji, Tonga and Tuvalu. Land area on the two main islands, Upolu and Savaii, is about 2,820 square kilometres. The last national Samoa census identified Samoa’s population to be 180,741 individuals, of which 93,677 (51.8 per cent) were males and 87,064 (48.2 per cent) were females. The population of Samoa is relatively young, with 39% of the total population being 14 years and under.


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