Working Paper

IDS working papers;78

Gender Inequalities in Primary Schooling: The Roles of Poverty and Adverse Cultural Practice

Published on 1 January 1998

This paper suggests a simple model for the relationships between poverty, schooling and gender inequality. It argues that poverty – at both national and household levels – is associated with an under-enrolment of school-age children, but that the gendered outcomes of such under-enrolment are the product of cultural practice, rather than of poverty per se.

Using detailed case study material from two African countries, evidence is presented to show the variety and extent of adverse cultural practice which impede the attendance and performance of girls at school, relative to boys. It follows that gender inequalities in schooling outcomes, measured in both qualitative and quantitative terms, will not necessarily be reduced as incomes rise.

Publication details

published by
Colclough, C., Rose, P., Tembon, M.
IDS Working Paper, issue 78
1 85864 248 5


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