Influence Of Gender Inequality In Education

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Moreover, ever since the 1960s, the feminist movement has raised awareness of gender inequality in society and has since helped to challenge the traditional stereotype of a woman’s role in society, in and outside the home, in work, education and the law; by highlighting the value of self-esteem and personal choice for a female (O’Leary, 2015). These changes are demonstrated within in the media, an example of this comes from McRobbie’s (1994) comparison of girls’ magazines in the 1970s and the 1990s. In the 1970s girls’ magazines McRobbie found that magazines emphasised the importance of getting married, whereas nowadays, they contain images of assertive and independent women. Therefore, changes impacted by the feminism movement may explain…show more content…
In the 1970s and early 1980s, second-wave feminists carried out studies on the gender inequalities in education (Francis, 2000). They found girls were painted as victims of systematic discrimination from their male classmates and also their teachers and the education system itself (Francis, 2000). It was argued that this discrimination experienced by girls in the education system may help to explain the low levels of achievement of girls in maths and science, which is an issue of concern, as qualifications in these ‘masculine’ subjects are often necessary for high-end careers (Francis, 2000). This led to the introduction of programmes such as the Girls into Science and Technology (GIST) and Girls into Mathematics (GAMMA), to encourage females to take an interest in the maths and sciences, and to encourage girls to undertake careers in these perceived ‘masculine’ areas (Francis, 2000). However Walkerdine (cited in Jones and Myhill, 2004) has argued that girls have been unnecessarily problematized compared to boys, as there was a failure to address boys’ underachievement within the languages, therefore, boys’ underachievement was being ignored. Walkerdine concluded teacher’s beliefs about girl’s evident underachievement in the maths and sciences were based on the ill-judged assumption of female failure in mathematics (cited in Jones and Myhill, 2004). However, her findings did not back up this assumption, rather she found that ‘girls felt to lack something, even if they were successful’, whereas boys on the other hand, ‘felt to possess the very thing that girls were taken to lack’ (cited in Jones and Myhill, 2004,

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