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!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences