Gender Dynamics

Supply and Demand

One practical way to think about gender issues in education is to consider supply and demand factors. First let's define the terms:

Supply factors are associated with the way education is provided, including the schools, the learning spaces and the education system, as it exists.

Gender issues related to education supply:

  • Schools are often far away and not easily accessible for girls. Disabled girls may face both physical and attitudinal challenges in going to school.

  • The journey to and from school places girls at considerable risk for sexual violence, abuse and exploitation. The journey may place boys at risk of similar or different dangers, such as forced recruitment into militias.

  • Schools are often staffed mostly by male teachers, which may not make school a safe or comfortable place for girls. 

  • Schools without adequate water and sanitation facilities can present particular problems for girls. For example, where all children have to use the same latrine, safety can be an issue for girls; menstruating girls may have to miss school completely due to a lack of privacy.  

  • Vocational training programs often provide support only for skills development in predominantly male trades. They may not support young women interested in pursuing training in these industries.