Schooling Girls and the Gender and Development Paradigm: Quest for an Appropriate Framework for Women’s Education

By Shweta Singh.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the limitations in perceiving the role of educating women through the gender and development paradigm. It draws on an analysis of the current research and policy in women's education in India and China. The paper highlights the limitations within education research, education policy, and schooling practice that are associated with the use of the gender and development paradigm. Some of these limitations include preoccupation with developmental goals, and identification of universal problems and solutions in education. The paper presents two main themes in education of women research - the developmental theme that focuses on returns to education and the feminist theme that focuses on gender bias. The developmental research in women’s education evaluates the role of education in generating individual and social benefits in a cost-benefit framework. While, the evidence of gender bias in the structure, process, and outcomes of educating women are the feminist oriented themes in women’s education. The paper concludes that the existing models of education in the developing societies aim to breakdown traditional social hierarchies and gender- based stratifications. However, their system-based approach and a lack of awareness about the individual contexts create new categories for grouping women in order to facilitate the research process rather than to change the women’s lives.

Keywords: Women's Education, Gender and Development, India and China, Education Policy, Feminist Theory, Development Theory

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 594.219KB).

Dr. Shweta Singh

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India (1996) and a Doctoral degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2005). Currently, I am tenure track research and teaching faculty at Loyola University Chicago. My ongoing research project is on examining the impact of Schooling upon girl’s Identity in India. I will also be starting work on research projects focusing on immigrant women and institutionalized racism and domestic violence and non profit initiatives in January 2007. I teach at the Master’s level in Research and Policy Streams of Social Work. My earlier practice and research work includes consultancy assignments with field offices of UNICEF and OXFAM, and the Corporate Sector (CII) in India.


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