Gender as an Entry Point for Addressing Social Exclusion and Multiple Disparities in Education

Dunne, Mairead (2009) Gender as an Entry Point for Addressing Social Exclusion and Multiple Disparities in Education. UNGEI Global Advisory Committee.

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This paper has offered a critical reflexive engagement in the field of gender, education and
development. In exploring the circumscribing conceptual and methodological issues it has sought to
engage with knowledge practices that link what we might know and assume about gender to wider
axes of inequality. To this extent the discussion used the case of gender as an example to illustrate the
possibilities and difficulties of for an understanding multiple disparities.
A central point in the paper concerns knowledge practices, that is, the relationship between the way
we produce knowledge and our conceptual formations. The way we research has a bearing on what
we might find out and subsequently on what we might further research, in a cyclical way. As such, the
discussion in this paper focussed on the dominant development discourses to explore the
methodological and theoretical genesis of what we know about gender. This is used to describe how
we have arrived at what appears to be theoretical and methodological stalemate. The implications are
for what we already know, what we might want to know next and how this informs policy and
intervention. Throughout this paper, the limitations and opportunities for understanding gender have
been connected to the challenges for understanding multiple disparities that need to be addressed if we
are to achieve EFA goals and global human rights to education.
Following a brief review of statistical and theoretical trends in the field of gender, education and
development the main argument is that the dominant development focus on quantification and
outcomes has (re)
produced both an unbalanced methodological approach and unreconstructed
assumptions about gender and education. The resultant and pervasive neobiological
theories of
gender are simplistic and stand in contradiction to current theories of social constructionism.
Three main themes, Identities, Processes and Methodologies are used to explore ways in which we
might develop more sociologically informed knowledge to first understand and then engage with the
contextual specificities of gender disparities and link these to wider forms of social exclusion.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Mairead Dunne
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:46
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2012 14:09
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