|Basic education for women: the promise fulfilled? a comparative analysis of five countries|
Jael Miriam Silliman
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Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Basic education, Education, planning, women
BASIC EDUCATION FOR WOMEN: THE PROMISE FULFILLED? A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FIVE COUNTRIES
Jael Miriam Silliman
This thesis studies the political, social, and cultural factors that determine the outcomes of basic education programs for women. Basic education, which includes primary education and formal and informal education programs at the first level, is considered a critical input for societal development and for improving the lives of women. The efficacy of basic education programs for women is no longer contested: yet many girls and women throughout the developing world do not have access to this critical resource. This thesis studies basic education programs for girls and women in five countries to determine the extent and scope of programs underway. The countries chosen are Nepal, Egypt, Indonesia, Tanzania and Peru.
We argue that basic education for girls and women only occurs when specific policy and support measures are implemented to widen female access to basic education. This statement will be verified through a historical analysis of educational policies towards women in each case. Where a firm committment has not been made to womenĘs education at the first level, education for the majority of women makes little headway. Where political will to provide women with a basic education is a priority, this objective has been achieved despite severe economic constraints.
Political will is essential to establish basic education programs for girls and women: however, basic education improves the position of women only under a certain set of conditions. Where womens important economic contributions are socially and culturally recognized, basic education programs for women are more readily accepted and can improve the lives of women. We argue that a strong womenĘs movement, with a wide social base that demands appropriate educational programs for the majority, that supports status-giving roles, and advocates new roles for women, can play an important role in enabling women to use education to improve their position. Most importantly, we argue that unless basic education programs have a built-in political component that encourages women to resist social, political and economic subordination, basic education programs will only bring about incremental changes in the lives of women and will not bring about equity.