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.



Statistical Trends in Selected Countries

This chapter will focus on highlighting some of the key patterns and trends that have emerged from the five country cases commissioned for this study. The purpose of the analysis will be to identify commonalities and divergences where possible within the available comparative data. As already noted in the introductory chapter, the Commonwealth membership has a limited number of countries in the global South, where the feminisation of the teaching profession is widespread. Of those that do have indicators that warrant investigation, there are some clear similarities between them. This study has sought to maintain a cross-regional approach, and – within the limitation of countries available for study – has tried to offer varied experiences.


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