Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A girl with a book: Improving girls' secondary education in the developing world
by Lawton, Stephanie D., M.Soc.Sci., University of Colorado at Denver, 2015, 100; 1605108
Abstract (Summary)

In many countries, particularly in the developing world, a large number of girls are receiving little or no formal education, in spite of all of the benefits that education can confer. Education has intrinsic value, as girls can experience a sense of agency and empowerment when they are able to achieve their educational goals. It is also important to human development, and there are tangible benefits to be gained from educating girls.

This study examines the effects of increased efforts to improve gender equality in education in the developing world. Specifically, I investigate many of the interventions that have been implemented for the purpose of improving girls’ secondary education, and consider which have been the most effective, in terms of both numbers of girls in school and the quality of their educational experience. In evaluating quality, I specifically consider what ramifications the different strategies have for girls’ capabilities as informed by Martha Nussbaum’s conception of the capabilities approach.

The data come primarily from published papers and reports from a variety of countries, and also include a small amount of firsthand information that I collected from contacts that I met during recent travel in Uganda and Rwanda. Details from people who work in schools and in education-related NGOs in these countries, and who have seen up-close the effects of different interventions on girls’ education, are utilized to add depth and personal insights to the data from the published reports.

At the conclusion of the study, I make recommendations, with girls’ capabilities in mind, about which interventions I think are the most beneficial and worth pursuing. Which strategies are the most effective at improving girls’ access to schools and the experiences they have once they are there? Those that specifically address issues of quality, rather than just access, seem likely to have the most beneficial effects on girls’ capabilities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Everett, Jana
Commitee: McGuffey, Lucy, Van Leeuwen, James
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Social Sciences
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 55/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Education Policy, International Relations
Keywords: Capabilities, Developing world, Education quality, Girls, Secondary education
Publication Number: 1605108
ISBN: 978-1-339-30552-3
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