Gender Dynamics

Supply and Demand

Demand factors are associated with parental, community and students' ideas about education and how much students want to and are able to participate in educational opportunities.

Gender issues related to education demand:

  • Poor families may not have the money to pay for school fees, uniforms and other supplies. When families have to prioritize their expenses, boys and young men are usually more likely to have the opportunity to go to school.

  • Girls and young women often have to do household chores, care for siblings and generate family income, making it difficult for them to attend school. Married and pregnant young women are highly unlikely to begin school or vocational training programs.

  • Early marriage and pregnancy are barriers to girls beginning or continuing their education. Where girls are enrolled in high numbers, drop-out rates toward the end of primary school are usually high. Married and pregnant young women are especially unlikely to be in school or vocational training programs.

  • Fear of sexual violence and exploitation on the way to and from school (and in school), often deters families from educating their daughters.

  • Attitudes in many families hold that income opportunities for young women are only in the domestic labor sector. Assuming that the so-called feminine trades tend to require fewer skills, families are less likely to support young women to attend vocational training programs. This decreased demand is compounded by the fact that traditionally female work is often lower-paid.