African girl. Copyright Justyna Furmanczyk  

Strengthening open and flexible learning for increased education access in high HIV prevalence SADC countries


Annotated bibliography

(17 documents)

ABAGI, O. & ODIPO, G. (2004) Report of the Gender Audit on the Education Sector,Maseru, Ministry of Education and Training.
The audit report outlines the rationale for the study within the EFA goal of eliminating gender disparities and the need to identify gender concerns and the nature of gender discrimination in Lesotho. Using a participatory approach, the study sought to articulate some of the more implicit gaps and concern in the gender response with the education sector. The study notes the existing gender imbalances in senior management within the education sector where women are in the minority and the negative regard for gender issues within the ministry, taking gender imbalances as 'normal'. The report notes that while Lesotho has reached gender parity in school participation at all levels, there are disparities within districts and locations that favours girls more than boys. It further notes that while girls and women dominate men both at school and in the teaching service, there is still the tendency for women to enrol in feminine courses rather science and applied careers such as agriculture. It also notes the poor access to schools in mountain areas and the growing vulnerability due to the HIV and AIDS epidemic as impacting on boys and girls in very different but significant ways.

DAVISON, J. & KANYUKA, M. (1992) Girls' participation in Basic Education in Southern Malawi. Comparative Education Review, 36, 446-466.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (2001) Scared at School: Sexual violence against girls in South African Schools. New York, Human Rights Watch. Document available online

LEACH, F. (2004) School-based gender violence in Africa: a risk to adolescence sexual health. In COOMBE, C. (Ed.) The HIV Challenge to Education: A collection of essays. Paris, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).
This chapter argues that there is a culture in learning institutions that promotes the development of stereotypical masculine and feminine behaviours and strong peer pressure to confirm, and continues to condone gender-based violence. It concludes with proposals for 'breaking the silence' around unsafe environments in learning institutions. (Abstract by author/s)

LEACH, F., FISCIAN, V., KADZAMIRA, E., LEMANI, E. & MACHAKANJA, P. (2003) An Investigative Study of the Abuse of Girls in African Schools. DFID Educational Papers: researching the issues.

MGALLA, Z., SCHAPINK, D. & TIES BOERMA, J. (1998) Protecting school girls against sexual exploitation: A guardian programme in Mwanza, Tanzania. Reproductive Health Matters, 6, 19-30.
This paper presents a study in 1996 of a guardian programme in primary schools in two districts in Mwanza region, Tanzania, whose aim was to protect adolescent girls against sexual exploitation, which is thought to be common within educational institutions in Africa. The guardians were women teachers whose role was to help in cases of sexual violence or harassment and act as counsellors on sexual health problems. About half of the girls in the highest three classes of these primary schools (mean age 15) had had sex. Sexual exploitation of school girls by schoolboys, young men in their teens and 20s and teachers was common. The guardian programme has been well accepted and has already generated considerable public debate. One of the most important initial effects is that sexual abuse is less hidden, and abuse by teachers may have become more difficult than in the past. However, most guardians and other teachers were opposed to any sexual activity among girls, which limited their potential to encourage contraceptive use and prevention of STDs and HIV. In this context, the guardian programme should be only one component of a much broader effort to address the issue of adolescent sexuality. (Abstract by author/s)
Document is available online

MOLENI, C. M. (1999) Addressing girls' participation in secondary education in Southern Malawi: the GABLE scholarship programme. University of Bristol.

SHABAYA, J. & KONADU, A. K. (2004) Unequal  Access,  Unequal  Participation:  Some  Spatial  and  Socio-Economic  Dimensions  of  the  Gender Gap in Education in Africa with special reference to Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Compare: a journal of comparative education, 34, 395-424.
The question of unequal access to education among males and females appears to be universal in the developing world. However, females in Africa seem to suffer more discrimination in terms of access to education. This study revisits the question of gender disparities in educational   access in Africa by analyzing data from recent comparative national surveys including the Demographic and Health Surveys, Living Standards Surveys, and World Bank data, focusing on Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.  It concludes that while substantial progress has been made in the last 40 years, female illiteracy rates are still high compared to males, and entrenched attitudes continue to keep females out of the educational system, thereby perpetuating the gender gap. Furthermore, while females are generally disadvantaged vis a vis their male counterparts, females living in the urban areas and some core regions tend to be better off than those living in the rural areas and peripheral regions. The paper suggests a number of policy recommendations that would enable African countries, especially the three countries used as case studies, to reap the full benefits that accrue from female education. These include the need for African governments to rededicate their efforts towards giving female education the highest priority, creating girl-friendly school environments, helping resolve parental poverty issues that compel them to force girls into early marriages, legislating and enforcing laws that compel all children to stay in school for at least 12  years, and wiping out the long existing spatial inequities that enable people in certain locations to have better access to education than others. (Abstract by author/s)

SILBERSCHMIDT, M. & RASCH, V. (2001) Adolescent girls, illegal abortions and "sugar-daddies" in Dar es Salaam: vulnerable victims and active social agents. Social Science & Medicine, 52, 1815-1826.
Adolescent girls' early sexual activity, early pregnancy, induced abortions and the increase in HIV infections have become major concerns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts, though, to understand their sexual behaviour and to prevent reproductive health problems are almost non-existent. Adolescent girls are normally seen as victims and easy preys of (often older and married) men's sexual exploitation. This article, which is based on a qualitative study of 51 adolescent girls who had just had an illegal abortion in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, reveals that these girls are not only victims but also willing preys and active social agents engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour. In order to get material benefits they expose themselves to serious health risks, including induced abortion -- without realising their own vulnerability. In our study, one out of four girls had more than one partner at the time they became pregnant, and many counted on an illegally induced abortion if they got pregnant. Even if adolescents are now allowed free access to family planning information, education and services, our study shows that this remains in the realm of theory rather than practice. Moreover, most adolescent girls are not aware about their right to such services. The paper concludes that the vulnerability of adolescent girls increases without the recognition that sexuality education and contraceptive services do not constitute a licence to practice illicit sex -- but rather a means to create more mature and responsible attitudes and to increase sexual and reproductive health.
Document available online

SUBRAHMANIAN, R. (2005) Gender equality in education: Definitions and measurements. International Journal of Educational Development, 25, 395-407.
International consensus on education priorities accords an important place to achieving gender justice in the educational sphere. Both the Dakar `Education for All' goals and the Millennium Development goals emphasise two goals, in this regard. These two goals are distinguished as gender parity goals [achieving equal participation of girls and boys in all forms of education based on their proportion in the relevant age-groups in the population] and gender equality goals [ensuring educational equality between boys and girls]. In turn these have been characterised as quantitative/numerical and qualitative goals respectively. In order to consider progress towards both types of goal, both quantitative and qualitative assessments need to be made of the nature of progress towards gender equality. Achieving gender parity is just one step towards gender equality in and through education. An education system with equal numbers of boys and girls participating, who may progress evenly through the system, may not in fact be based on gender equality. Following Wilson (Human Rights: Promoting gender equality in and through education. Background paper for EFA GMR 2003/4, 2003) a consideration of gender equality in education therefore needs to be understood as the right to education [access and participation], as well as rights within education [gender-aware educational environments, processes, and outcomes], and rights through education [meaningful education outcomes that link education equality with wider processes of gender justice].
Document available online

SUBRAHMANIAN, R. (2005) "Scaling Up" Good Practices in Girls' Education. Paris, UNESCO.
This publication focuses on strategies for meeting international targets and national goals for universalizing girls' access to, retention in and completion of quality education. This will be done through "scaling up" successful interventions, or components of interventions that can be replicated. UNESCO published this book within the framework of the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI), the Education For All (EFA) flagship for girls' education and the principal movement to narrow the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 2005.
Document available online

SWAINSON, N., BENDERA, S., GORDON, R. & KADZAMIRA, E. (1998) Promoting Girls' Education in Africa: The Design and Implementation of Policy Interventions. Education Research Paper. London, Department for International Development.
This report presents research findings about the intellectual, political, and organizational processes that have shaped government and donor policies and projects concerned with promoting the education of women and girls in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The study seeks to assess the extent to which gender interventions in education have been donor driven. The growing concern about large and persistent gender inequalities in education has led to the development of a number of initiatives on the part of multilateral and bilateral aid agencies aimed at encouraging the participation of women and girls in education. Despite this concern, efforts to reduce gender inequalities on the part of both governments and donor agencies have been uneven and policy interventions have evolved in a piecemeal fashion. In order to explore the reasons for the limited progress that has been made in improving girls' education in most developing countries, this study focuses on policy formulation and implementation with respect to girls' education in the three low income African countries

SWAINSON, N. (2000) Knowledge and power: the design and implementation of gender policies in education in Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. International Journal of Educational Development, 20, 49-64.
Relatively little attention has focused on how knowledge about the causes of gender disparities in education has been incorporated into the design of policies and other interventions, and how specific interventions to redress gender inequalities in education have been affected by political and bureaucratic constraints. This study focuses on these two sets of issues in three case study countries: Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. What is interesting about these three countries is that they have all had significant gender components in their respective education policies, but, at the same time, there have been marked differences between them in the extent to which policy has been shaped by research findings and other relevant knowledge. Furthermore, the way in which political and bureaucratic factors have constrained the implementation of gender policies in the education sector has also varied quite considerably from one country to another. (Abstract an extract from the paper)
Document available online

UNICEF (2003) Country Highlights for Lesotho. UNICEF.
Country Highlights for Lesotho as part of UNICEF's attempts at promoting girls' education for all, child protection and the fight against HIV and AIDS. The report notes that in Lesotho, girls’ enrolment rates have fallen an estimated 25 percentage points in last ten years due the impact of HIV/ AIDS and deepening poverty. The recent food crisis in the region has worsened an already difficult situation. Most of Lesotho’s active male labour force working in South African mines and quarries has been retrenched. Girls are increasingly needed as caregivers for sick family members, or must work outside the home to supplement the family income. Although Lesotho has exceeded gender parity in access to primary education (82% for girls and 75% for boys), completion rates are higher for girls (80%).  The Government of Lesotho, with support from its development partners, is committed to expanding educational opportunities for its girls and boys. It is an active participant in regional and international fora to build consensus on initiatives that contribute to improving the provision of quality education. The report outlines UNICEF’s work with the Government, churches, NGOs, and other education stakeholders in order to develop policy and guidelines in implement plans to increase NER for girls, democratize the school system through increased pupil and community participation and create  child Friendly Environments in schools. The establishment of linkages between formal and non-formal education, and the on-going training of all teachers in life skills, HIV/AIDS and gender and psychosocial care and support are among some of the achievement of UNICEF’s initiatives in the country.

UNTERHALTER, E. (2003) The capabilities approach and gendered education: an examination of South African Complexities. Theory and Research in Education, 1, 7-22.
This article examines Amartya Sen's writings on the capabilities approach and education. Sen sometimes suggests a loose association between education and schooling. Elsewhere he concludes that one can read off the outputs of schooling as an indication of capabilities and an enhancement of freedom. While the capability approach provides a valuable way beyond human capital theorizing about education, Sen's writing fails to take account of the complex settings in which schooling takes place. Sometimes schooling does not entail an enhancement of capabilities and substantive freedom. South African policy responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic highlight how using the capability approach to evaluation without paying attention to conditions of gender and race inequality yield only half the picture. (Abstract by author)
Document available online

UNTERHALTER, E. (2005) Global inequality, capabilities, social justice: The millennium development goal for gender equality in education. International Journal of Educational Development, 25, 111-122.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for gender equality in education by 2005 has been criticised for its grandiose ambition, its failure to adequately conceptualise the nature of gender inequality or the diverse forms this takes, the inadequate policies developed to put the goal into practice and the limited measurements used for monitoring. The paper argues for a strategic defence of the MDG as an opportunity to think more widely about what the contents of rights in education are and how gender equality might be advanced. Drawing on the capability approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum it considers gender equality in education in relation to wellbeing and agency freedom and achievement. Utilising Thomas Pogge's taxonomy of institutional conditions for human flourishing the paper considers how global, national and local policy might better measure gender equality in pursuit of the MDG.
Document available online

UNTERHALTER, E. (2007) Gender, Schooling and Global Social Justice.London and New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
This book examines gender equality in schooling as an aspiration of global social justice. With nearly one billion people, having little or no schooling, and women and girls comprising nearly two-thirds of this total, this book analyses the historical, sociological, political and philosophical issues involved and examines actions taken by governments, Inter-Government Organisations, NGOs and women's groups since 1990 to combat this injustice. Written by a recognised expert in this field, the book is organised clearly into three parts: the first part provides a background to the history of the provision of schooling for girls worldwide since 1945 and locates the challenges of gender inequality in education; the second part examines different views as to why questions of gender and schooling should be addressed globally, contrasting arguments based on human capital theory, rights and capabilities; and the third part analyses how governments, Inter-Government Organisations and NGOs have put policy into practice. Addressing the urgent global challenges in gender and schooling, this book calls for a new connected approach in policy and practice.


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