The original study set out to examine the social, economic, religious
and other factors influencing the degree of female participation in
formal education institutions in six carefully selected developing
countries. The intention behind the study was that it should provide
information that governments and aid donors would be able to take
account of in designing future educational projects, with a view to
improving the levels of female participation in those countries where it
lags behind that of males. While the study would not ignore
participation in non-formal education, the main thrust would be towards
broad general education at all levels, with the focus of attention at
school level and an emphasis on the primary sector.
The countries selected were: Bangladesh, Cameroon, India, Jamaica,
Sierra Leone and Vanuatu, making two each from Africa, Asia and the
Tropical Island Zones. In each location, in addition to interviewing key
personnel and consulting local documentation, the researchers carried
out two empirical surveys: a major exercise with primary school pupils
to ascertain some of their perceptions on gender and education, and a
minor exercise with students, mainly those training to be primary
teachers for the same purpose. The outcomes contributed to the case
study sections presented in this paper.
This second edition is not merely an updated version of the first, but
was seen an opportunity to bring the original study (published in 1993)
to a wider audience. The study was replicated in a seventh location: the
Seychelles, this means that the Indian Ocean is represented alongside
the Caribbean and the South Pacific and some additional perspectives are
observed. However, since half a decade had elapsed between the original
study and the undertaking of the Seychelles fieldwork, it would not be
proper to interpret this 1996 information within the crosscutting
thematic discussion that precedes the case studies. Therefore the
Seychelles section is included as an appendix.
Educational Paper No. 9 (second edition), DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1861920 65 2, 96 pp.
Factors affecting female participation in education in seven developing countries