Gender And Education Essay

2653 words - 11 pages

In this assessment I have chosen to discuss the question, why is equality of opportunity an important consideration in education, with particular reference to the area concerning gender. I will be considering educational issues of gender and its impact and also evaluate the extent to which equal opportunities for girls in education have been secured.First of all we need to know what is meant by gender. Explaining this term Haspels et al (2000) says:"The sex children are born with influences their chances in life, alongside other important variables such as socio-economic class or caste, race or ethnicity. The biological differences of being born as a boy or a girl become important only later in life when children reach puberty. However, from the moment of their birth, all societies assign different roles, attributes and opportunities to boys and girls. They are socialized to perform the roles of men and women in their society, based on the ideas in that society how men and women should or should not behave. These social meanings given to biological sex differences are covered by the term gender. So, Sex refers to the biological differences between men and women that are universal and do not change. For example, only women can give birth. Gender is an important variable and classifier in society. It is affected by other variables such as age, class or caste, race or ethnicity, and by the geographical, economical and political environment."Gender issues regarding inequality in general and particularly in education, have always remained evident through the course of the history. Before I move on to discuss this issue we need to understand what is meant by gender equality which is clearly explained by Haspels et al (2000):"In most societies there are differences and inequalities between girls and boys, and women and men in the opportunities, responsibilities, rights and benefits they are given and the activities they do. While there are variations across cultures and over time, there is one common feature: Gender relations throughout the world are characterized by unequal and unbalanced relations between the sexes. Disparities exist, for example, between girls' and boys' access to education and training, between women's and men's access to and control over resources and benefits, and in the roles of men and women in decision-making. Drawing of weighting scale Gender equality means that people of all ages should have equal chances to succeed in life. It does not mean that boys and girls, women and men should become the same but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. It means that all human beings should have equal i.e. fair and just access to and control over resources and benefits so that all can benefit from and participate in development. So, basically Gender equality refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of men and women, girls and boys."Research...

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