Gender in Primary and Secondary Education

A handbook for policymakers and other stakeholders

image of Gender in Primary and Secondary Education
Gender in Primary and Secondary Education has been written in the context of rapidly expanding education systems worldwide, and particularly the rising enrolment of girls in schools. The author argues that now the challenge of gender mainstreaming goes beyond building schools and ensuring access, to sustaining these gains to secure the future of education for girls. Thus gender mainstreaming in education needs to address the more strategic questions of the relationship between education and wider development and change, and of the relationships between men and women in a rapidly changing world.

The handbook is divided into six chapters, examining key policy and ideological gender mainstreaming issues within education systems and identifying the scope for greater gender mainstreaming.

Essential reading for civil servants involved in education sector management, policy planners, education policy analysts and professionals, civil society organisers, and academics.



Reframing the Education Policy Discourse

Rights, Capabilities and Empowerment

As the previous chapter argued, instrumentalist arguments, that is, arguments for female education based on its strategic value for states and households, have been a critical determinant of the increased attention paid to girls’ education in recent decades. However, they have been intensely scrutinised as discursive frames for female education, and concerns have been raised about their limits. A particular concern is that in focusing on female schooling as a means to wider developmental ends, policy-makers may fail to pay attention to the qualitative changes necessary to win women’s rights and equality. The fact that gender gaps in access to education persist, despite the wide acceptance of these persuasive arguments, is also a signal that policy prescriptions that do not address underlying power imbalances and inequalities between women and men are unlikely to plug the gap.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error