Gender Equity in Higher Education: Challenges and Celebrations

Morley, Louise (2010) Gender Equity in Higher Education: Challenges and Celebrations. In: Peterson, Penelope, Baker, Eva and McGaw, Barry (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Education (Third Edition). Elsevier Ltd, pp. 629-635. ISBN 978-0-08-044894-7

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Participation rates for women in higher education have increased between 1999 and 2005 in all regions of the world, with a global gender parity index (GPI) of 1.05. Between 1999 and 2004, the GPI for gross enrolment in higher education increased in more than 77% of the 57 countries with available data (UNESCO, 2006: 27). There are now more undergraduate women than men in higher education (UNESCO, 2007: 132). This increase has been unevenly distributed across national and disciplinary boundaries. Women are globally underrepresented in science and technology disciplines. Women's participation rates are higher than those of men in North America and Europe, but lower in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. Even where women's participation rates are high, the feminization of higher education largely relates to quantitative, rather than qualitative change. There are questions about what women are accessing in terms of gender-sensitive cultures and opportunities. There are also questions about how gender is intersected with other structures of inequality including socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and age. For many women, entry into higher education can be a means of mitigating gender oppression. This can be accompanied by contradictions and tensions as they experience discriminatory practices, gendered processes, and exclusions within higher education itself. This article discusses the gender gains and losses in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Africa; Equal opportunities; Gender; Higher education; Widening Participation; Women leaders
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Louise Morley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:09
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2012 09:38
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