A new study found that the very policy documents advocating the need for equal access to education limit the scope of the initiatives by over-simplifying issues and by referring to education in a way that belies the complexity of gender roles and culture.
"We found that while many international development organizations have touted the importance of girls' education over the past decade, the language used in the policy documents often limited the discourse of what real changes would need to be made to address gender inequalities hindering girls from accessing education," said Lisa Hoffman, assistant professor in the School of Education at Indiana University Southeast.
She co-authored the study, "Girls' Education: The Power of Policy Discourse," with lead author Karen Monkman, associate professor in the College of Education at DePaul University.
For the study, presented at 7:05 p.m. EDT April 16 at the American Educational Research Association's annual meeting in Vancouver, the researchers analyzed 300 policy documents from 14 agencies from 1995 to 2008. The study focused on the "public face" of the policies -- how organizations such as the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative, nonprofit organizations, USAID and the World Bank talk about their work -- not on implementation documents or evaluation reports.
The documents often left little room for argument about the need for parity and its role in local and national development efforts. The researchers say the lack of conflicting issues prevents readers from understanding the struggles agencies face with the range of contradictory issues involving such things as gender, development agendas and family economics.
"There is often no explanation as to relationship, cause-effect, rationale or theory of action relating to many of the arguments for educating girls or the relationship of barriers and strategies," the researchers wrote of their findings. "Arguments that increasing the numbers of girls in schools and reaching parity will serve to eradicate poverty, generate peace and democracy, stimulate development and improve public health, for example, are not explained. They are stated as assertions that cannot be questioned, interrogated, challenged or critiqued."
Hoffman said the paper exemplifies how "the language we use can both enable and constrain how we approach complex problems."
Hoffman can be reached at 812-941-2137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional assistance, contact Tracy James at 812-855-0084 and email@example.com
Lisa Hoffman | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences