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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29801

Title: Girls' Education as a Means or End of Development? A Case Study of Gender and Education Policy Knowledge and Action in the Gambia
Authors: Manion, Caroline
Advisor: Mundy, Karen
Department: Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Keywords: girls' education
gender equality
policy transfer
policy borrowing
public policy
social justice
transformative education
human capabilities
human rights
sub-Saharan Africa
policy analysis
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2011
Abstract: Girls’ education has been promoted by the international development community for over two decades; however, it has proven harder to promote gender equality through education than it has been to promote gender parity in education. Of significance is the global circulation and co-existence of two competing rationales for the importance of girls’ education: economic efficiency and social justice. The cost of ignoring how and why Southern governments and their development partners choose to promote girls’ education is high: an over-emphasis on economic efficiency can mean that the root causes of gendered inequalities in society remain unchallenged, and more social justice-oriented reforms become marginalized. This thesis uses a critical feminist lens to qualitatively investigate the role and significance of human capital, human rights, and human capabilities policy models in the context of the production and enactment of gender equality in education policy knowledge in The Gambia, a small, aid-dependent Muslim nation in West Africa. The purpose of the study was to assess the scope education policies provide for positive change in the lives of Gambian women and girls. Towards illuminating relations of power in and the politics of gender equality in education policy processes, the study compares and contrasts written texts with the perspectives of state and non-state policy actors. The study is based on data drawn from interviews, participant observation, and documentary analysis. The findings suggest that different gender equality in education ideas and practices have been selectively mobilized and incorporated into education policy processes in The Gambia. At the level of policy talk, girls’ education is framed as important for both national economic growth, and “women’s empowerment”. However, the policy solutions designed and implemented, with the support of donors, have tended to work with rather than against the status quo. Power and politics was evident in divergent interpretations and struggles to fix the meaning of key concepts such as gender, gender equality, gender equity, and empowerment. Religious beliefs, anti-feminist politics, and the national feminist movement were identified as important forces shaping gender equality in education knowledge and action in the country.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29801
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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