op.inequality - Gender inequality in education and...

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Gender inequality in education and employment by Geeta Sharma, Editor, Learningchannel.org GENDER INEQUALITY IN EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT Focus: This session will focus on how and why education is the key to gender equality and to larger employment opportunities for women. The paper will take a look at education opportunities for women and the reasons for the inherent gender bias in many societies. It will explore links between lack of education and its impact on women’s employment avenues. Taking a look at some of the trends, and more relevantly at some success stories, it will explore options that could provide women better avenues for education and employment. Importantly, the session would be a debate and discussion from a civil society/NGO and development perspective. Discussion points have been woven into each section of the paper as suggested points for group discussions in the session Introduction: There is little denying the fact that investing in human capital is one of the most effective means of reducing poverty and encouraging sustainable development. Yet, women in developing countries usually receive less education than men. More so, women in general enjoy far less employment opportunities than men the world over. Any claims and efforts then, to remove poverty, can show results only if they address the issue of gender inequality. In recent decades, there have been large gains, no doubt on comparable levels, in basic rights and opportunities, in life expectancy and enrolment ratios for women. But despite these gains, the stark reality has not changed. There still are large gender disparities in basic human rights, resources, and economic opportunity, and in political rights- the world over. In South Asia, women have only half as many years of schooling as men. In much of Sub-Saharan Africa women obtain land rights, chiefly through their husbands as long as the marriage endures and women account for only ten percent of seats in Parliaments worldwide. So until nations are able to address this issue of gender inequality and resolve it, the vicious cycle of poverty will continue to pervade. This is because poverty leads to and aggravates gender discrimination – it is in the poorer sections and nations that instances of gender biases and inequality are more evident. Women and girls who are at the bottom of the social, economic and political ladder in these societies, get even lesser opportunities to have a command over
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productive resources such as land or credit. Access to the means to influence the development process is a rare and difficult possibility. And yet, by the same logic, gender discrimination hinders development. So while denial of basic rights ( be it education, employment or health care for women) is detrimental to women, this denial, ultimately also harms the society, the nations at large too, by hampering development. There are several social and economic indicators to support this point. For
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2009 for the course A a taught by Professor A during the Spring '09 term at Dallas Baptist.

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op.inequality - Gender inequality in education and...

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