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Gender Issues Related to Education Supply

Education policy and programs must address the gender dimensions of supply and demand factors and the relationships between the two. They must also acknowledge the gender differences for students, while demonstrating sensitivity for the different experiences, priorities and needs of male and female teachers.

This chart shows some gender issues relating to the supply of education. Remember that supply issues are concerned with educational services provided.

Supply Issues

Gender Dimensions

Access

  • Often more schools and school sites for boys

  • Often more male teachers – attracts boys to school and can deter girls

  • School hours may conflict with different activities/obligations of boys and/or girls

  • Distance and the path to and from school may not be safe for girls and/or boys

Learning environment

  • Lack of sanitary facilities is more of a barrier to girls

  • Sexual harassment and violence on the way to school (and even in school) may affect girls particularly

Curriculum and learning materials

  • Usually written from male perspectives

  • Rarely address women's and girls' experiences

  • Gender-specific learning needs (e.g., reproductive health for male and female students) are often not met

Teachers and other education personnel

  • Men who serve as teachers, trainers, head teachers, apprentice supervisors, guards, etc. often dominate schools

  • Untrained teachers may not be aware of gender issues

  • Untrained teachers may be unable to orient learning experiences to the different needs of girls and boys

  • Trainers may not provide positive support to young women both in learning new and traditionally male skill sets and in finding job opportunities upon completion of a training program

 

Activity:

Review this general chart. Then download a blank chart and fill in the specific gender dimensions of education supply in your context.

Activity:

You will notice these supply issues relate to Minimum Standards categories. Compare the Minimum Standards with the supply-related gender dimensions and priorities that you have identified. How do the Minimum Standards provide guidance on issues relevant to your context? Are there any gaps?