Education and Gender Equality

By: Julia Poz

Talking about gender equality is very broad, inequality is still very latent in society, in education there is still a very large gap not only between men and women, but also between people with greater and lesser economic possibilities, rural areas and areas urban.

The long-standing goal of achieving gender equality in education has been for all boys and girls to be able to attend school without discrimination (ethnic origin, skin color, culture, age, language, religion, sex, etc. others). So, once both have access to education, receive the same school curriculum, the same content and are evaluated in the same way, why does inequality continue to exist? Well, the school is one of those responsible for transmitting gender roles, but how does the school do this? The answer is simple, the mission of education is to transmit social values, knowledge accumulated over time and at the same time, form citizens with principles and values. In this sense, it is necessary to analyze, with a gender lens, the content that is taught because it will allow detecting if gender stereotypes that discriminate and promote inequality are being transmitted, such as:

• In the teaching of the curricular areas there are almost no references of women who contributed to the different fields of knowledge.
• The values ​​that are reinforced in girls lead their future towards trades, professions, jobs or tasks related to care and home, and those that we promote in boys lead them to more active and valued jobs by the community and by society, related to public life and obtaining financial resources.
• Girls are often given less prominence and opportunities to participate and speak and use language that may be sexist.

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Carrying out good equality education practices in the classroom and encouraging families to be part of them are essential to not only ensure that girls remain in school, just like boys, but also that they can access professional and personal potential much older.

Discrimination in the world of education has consequences beyond the classroom since in the world of work, women, even though they are equally qualified, earn lower salaries, achieve fewer management positions and continue to have a double shift in which they develop a I work outside the home and also continue to take care of the home and the family. For example, the study Ethnic and gender inequalities in the Guatemalan labor market says that on average women earn 84% of men’s wages and in rural areas this percentage drops to 60% of men’s wages due to the same activity. On the other hand, it is still frowned upon that men contribute to a lesser extent to maintaining the home or prioritize raising their children.

It is concluded that education must not only be equal, but also equitable so that all children and young people have the same opportunities regardless of their context, taking into account their needs and characteristics. Only an equitable education will bring prosperity to our peoples.

July 2024