This framework of equal opportunity cannot realistically be achieved in communities wherein only a select group have access to education and information. It also cannot be achieved when you have an educational system that favours the development of a certain group at the price of neglecting the development of another group.
At present, there are still existing inequalities in the educational development of different groups in different countries. One of these existing inequalities is the gender disparity wherein a specific gender is shown to be better advantaged as compared to the other gender when it comes to succeeding in school. For many decades, there have been numerous campaigns to combat the gender gap or gender disparity in education. For the large part, this gender gap has mostly been in favour of males and was seen to emerge in different manifestations. Enrolment numbers, for example, which showed boys outnumbering girls, is one clear sign of this gender disparity. The gender disparity is also manifested in instances wherein greater educational opportunities and achievements are awarded to boys as compared to girls.
For a long time in history, the main...
Feminist groups that fought for equal educational opportunities for both men and women were fuelled by the basic need for equal education in order to induce equal opportunity in labour for both women and men. Without equal education, women could not compete in equal footing with men when it came to job applications and as such, could not forward gender equality in the workplace and in society. The struggle for equal educational opportunity among men and women was thus seen as a crucial battle that feminist groups needed to win in order to forward the larger cause of gender equality in society.
In most parts of the world, girls still lag behind boys when it comes to enrolment number, educational achievement, and educational opportunity. This side of gender disparity is most prevalent in developing countries such as those in West Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa where a large number of girls are still deprived of quality education and gender inequality still persists despite the efforts of many feminist movements. Even now, women still account for the majority of the illiterate sector, and according to the annual report published this year by the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), women comprise roughly 64% of all illiterate adults worldwide. (UNESCO, 2006,p.60). This means that worldwide, women are still at a disadvantage as compared to men when it comes to education.
The Other Side of Gender Disparity
Gender disparity in education, however, differs from country to country. While the global numbers show that women are still at a disadvantage when it comes to education, there are varying trends especially between developed and
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