Gender is a crosscutting dimension of both teacher tentativeness and alternative qualification. Gender may determine:

  • The competing demands on teachers' time

  • The expectations that families and communities have of their roles

  • Their own perceptions of future priorities for themselves, their family and community

For example, female teachers are usually expected to care for their own young children, to keep the house and even to tend to farmland and animals around the home. Men who head households are usually expected to feed their families and provide shelter, clothing and other needs. In many contexts where women have far less access to formal, residential teacher-education programs, gender may determine who is able to become formally qualified.

In particularly conservative contexts, such as rural Afghanistan, where parents may not allow their daughters to attend classes or other educational activities with male teachers, being a female teacher is an important qualification. In other contexts, although the situation might not be quite as strict, supporting female teachers and/or female classroom assistants may also be a strategy to increase the girls‘ enrollment, retention and achievement in school, to create more gender-responsive learning environments, and to identify and to address additional protection concerns that girls face.

Click here to learn more about introducing female classroom assistants to schools.