Gender equality and education in South Africa: measurements, scores and strategies

Gender equality and education in South Africa: measurements, scores and strategies

Measuring gender equality in schools in South Africa

This paper discusses methodology issues for measuring gender equality and inequality in South Africa. The author argues that in order to establish a publicly accountable means of assessing levels of gender equality, a complex method is needed.

The analysis is structured in three parts. First, it considers different ways of understanding gender, equality and education and the implications of different understandings for how change and achievement of equality is understood. The second part examines how different understandings yield different readings of the South African scorecard in education. The third part presents an alternative approach to assessing gender equality in education developed from Amartya Sen’s capability approach and attempts to operationalise this in relation to gender equality issues in South Africa.

Some details of the measurements of this alternative method include:

  • levels of gender equality and openness in public discussion
  • extent of gender equality in governance at nation, regional and local levels
  • gender budgets with regard to money, time and skills
  • gender equality in access to resources for self expression.
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