Gender relation in access to education among dalit community in lalitpur district



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GENDER RELATION IN ACCESS TO EDUCATION AMONG DALIT COMMUNITY IN LALITPUR DISTRICT

Submitted by


Sanju Nepali

MMRA 2009

Social Inclusion Research Fund/SNV Nepal

18 August, 2011


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This study would not have been possible without the help and support of many people around me. First of all, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Social Inclusion Research Fund (SIRF/SNV Nepal) for giving an opportunity to conduct research by providing financial support and proper guidance.


First of all I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my mentor Professor Bidya Nath Koirala, Department of Education, TU for his consistent guidance, support, encouragement and believing in me, without whom this report would not have taken this form.

I am grateful to my thesis supervisor Dr. Megh Raj Dangal for his continues guidance and support in this report. Similarly, I would like to thank my field researchers Anju Nepali and Nanu Rokka for their valuable support during field visit. Likewise, I would like to thank the VDC office of Dhapakhel Lalitpur for providing me required information for selection of study settlement and informants of the studied communities for their valuable information during the fieldwork.

Lastly, my heartfelt gratitude goes to my parents who supported me throughout this study, continuously encouraged me to complete this study and for their faith in me. They are the greatest source of inspiration for me. I am grateful to my husband Mr. Purna Nepali who supported me throughout the study and also encouraged me. Special thanks to my daughter Prezu Nepali for her patience and love even a child during the study.
Sanju Nepali

Date: Aug 2011



ABBREVIATIONS


ASIP Annual School Improvement Plan

BPEP Basic and Primary Education Project

CBS Central Bureau of Statistics

CEDAW Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

CED Coalition for Educational Development

CERID Research Centre for Educational Innovation and Development

CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child

CA Constitute Assembly

DFID Department for International Development

DOE Department of Education

EFA Education for All

EC European Commission

FGD Focus Group Discussion

FWLD Forum for Women, Law and Development

GAD Gender and Development

GAM Gender Analysis Matrix

GRF Gender Role Framework

ICIMOD International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

I/NGOs International Non Governmental Organization

JUP Jana Utahan Pratisthan

MDG Millennium Development Goal

MGEP Mainstream Gender Equity Program

MoE Ministry of Education

NER Net Enrolment Rate

SPSS Statistical Package for Social Science

SRF Social Relation Framework

UK United Kingdom

UNDP United Nations Development Program

UNICEF United Nations Children Fund

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UPE Universalize Primary Education

NPC National Planning Commission

VDC Village Development Committee

WID Women in Development

Abstract

This research has attempted to contribute on gender related in access to education among Dalit community. Its special focus has gone to enrollment, dropout, and educational attainment of the girls’ in study site. The major questions addressed by the study are: i) what is the educational status in terms of enrollment, dropout and education attainment of girls’ children in comparison to boys? ii ) What kind of gender relation exists between girls and boys in response to providing education? iii) How gender related discriminations are affect to girls’ education? and iv) What are the main reasons for gender discrimination? Based on purposive sampling, the study was conducted in the Dhapakhel VDC of Lalitpur district among Davit community. The qualitative as well as quantitative research methods were employed. Data gathering methods were household survey, focused group discussion and interview. The research findings generated so far include: Gender relations are changing along positive line, particularly in relation to schooling. There were several instances of gender discrimination in providing education to girls. Knowingly and unknowingly household members are discriminating between their sons and daughters. This way of discriminatory behaviors, attitudes and practices of parents are the reflections of socially and culturally detained patriarchal norms. Although such norms are not officially declared, their roots had surrounded in the society as customs and become a matter of everyday act.

Discrimination is expressed by parents in the form of biased behavior, assignment of household chores only to daughters, supporting sons by giving more emphasis in their studies and neglecting studies of their daughters at the same time. Parents also have different expectation from their sons and daughters.

Such practices result constraints in regard to access and continued participation of girls in education. So, girls have access to public schools. But still they have to fulfill the responsibility at home, which has hampered their study. Consequently repetition and dropout rate among girl seems high. Though parents give more priority to boys’ education, the educational attainment of boys was also found not good.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT i

This study would not have been possible without the help and support of many people around me. First of all, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Social Inclusion Research Fund (SIRF/SNV Nepal) for giving an opportunity to conduct research by providing financial support and proper guidance. i

ABBREVIATIONS ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS vi

CHAPTER I 1

Introduction 1

Philosophical Considerations 26

Research Design 28

Chapter summary 55

Chapter VI 58

Findings and Conclusions 58

Findings and discussions 58

Conclusions 65

LIST OF TABLES

Table A Seven feminist perspectives on gender………………………..19

Table B Categories of studied household………………………………..36

Table C Reasons for dropout in study site………………………………..41

Table D Daily work schedule for girls and boys…………………………53

Table E Findings and conclusion of the study…………………………….68

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1 Theoretical and conceptual framework………………………………….24

Figure 2 Map of the study site…………………………………………………..…29

Figure 3 Data analysis techniques…………………………………………………..32

Figure 4 Factors of gender discrimination in society and its impact to girls' education…58


CHAPTER I

Introduction


This introductory chapter states the background of the research and the research questions. The problem statement and the rationale of the study are also included here. In total, this chapter offers an overview of the study. The focus of my study is gender relation in response to providing education. Gender issues have played crucial roles in education and the overall development of girls and the country. This has been portrayed in low female literacy rate in 15 over year’s age of 34.5 percent whereas male literacy rate is 62.2 percent (DOE, 2067 BS).

Education is the fundamental basis for development and it plays an important role to promote entire development system of any nation. Realizing its’ importance Nepal has committed to fulfill the commitment of the world submit on ‘Education for All’ (EFA) 2004-2009 that education is a fundamental right for all people. According to UNESCO & UNICEF Report (2007), there are three interrelated rights related to human development: ‘The right of access to education’- Education must be available for all, accessible and inclusive of all children; ‘The right to quality education’- Education needs to be child-centered, relevant and embrace a broad curriculum and be appropriately resourced and monitored; and ‘The right to respect within the learning environment’- Education must be provided in a way that is consistent with human rights, equal respect for culture, religion and language and free from all forms of violence.

Education is a fundamental right for all people (EFA, 2004-2009). But in practice, there is no accessibility, availability and freedom for education. For instance, Dalit's literacy rate is 59.9% in male and 34.8% in female whereas secondary and higher education is 23.2% in male and 11.8 in female (UNDP, 2009). Similarly a study done by DEO shows that still 13000 school age children are out of school in Kailali district of Nepal and most of them belong to the Dalit community (Educational Pages, p.4, 2068). This asserts that Nepali dalit have been marginalized in economic, social, cultural, educational and other spheres of national life by the state system based on the feudal Hindu caste system (UNDP, 2008). Similarly, their educational attainment is extremely lower than other caste community. Because of this low attainment in education, there are very few Dalit in public services, government employment, and political participation and leadership in Nepal. All these facts show that Dalits are the most victimized community in the country who has been marginalized and backward in all spheres of development. While, comparing within Dalits community, from gender perspective, both girls and women lag behind than boys and men to a greater extent in every spheres of the life. Out of all those spheres, the study has focused on gender discrimination in access to education.

The meaning of ‘gender discrimination’ that I have used in this study is the inequity that is made on the basis of sex. It also explores the intensity range of the discrimination. Gender discrimination is more pronounced in case of girls than boys. So the focus of the study is on girl’s education.




Research Problem

The focus of my study is gender relation in response to providing education. Gender discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on a gender stereotype (ICIMOD, 1997). It is manifested in Nepal because it has patriarchal societies and the social culture that shape gender-based social construction (Acharya, 2004, p. 4). So, patriarchal values and norms, and hierarchal structure of society in general are the major causes of biased behavior called 'Gender Discrimination'.

In Nepal women face a lot of discriminations in every spheres of their life, out of them gender discrimination in access to education especially among Dalit community is one.

There is still educational inequality across the gender, region, and caste despite the various improvements in education sector (UNDP, 2009). For instance, the overall literacy rate of Brahmin/Chhettri is 68.6 in female and 92.8 in male whereas overall literacy rate of Dalit is 34.8 in female and 59.9 in male (NPHS, 2006 ). This shows that Dalits are far below the national level.

A research done by Rajbhandary, Karki, & Leslie (1999,p.35) in terai districts like Siraha school enrollment at the primary level is 59.4%, but the gender disequilibrium is considerable: only 31.6% girls enrolled in school compared to 83.4% boys (Rajbhandary, 1999). The boys and girls ratio at the primary school is over 2:1 and this gap further increase at the higher levels. This signifies that the educational status woman is remarkably below that of men (FWLD, 2009). The risk factor for girls to be out of school is also 2.6 times higher than that of boys. The main reason for this dropout is that girls are required to be involved in heavier domestic work by the time they reach the age of secondary education (Tuladhar, 2007). Additional reasons of girl dropout are as failure in class, free society, and getting matured (physically) (CERID, 2008).

Similarly, there is low rate of school enrolment and high rate of dropout and large number of unschooled children from the Dalit community (Paudel, 2007). It can be interpreted that Dalit communities have been educationally excluded on the ground of caste, which has been traditionally practiced in the society. Since the education can open up the equal opportunities by maximizing each individual’s capacity and strength, it has yet to reach to the doors of the disadvantage groups who have not get chance to expand their knowledge, skills, and strength (Pande, 2006). Apart from it, educating Dalit and women also create the equality in the society, which is required for the so-called new Nepal.

The Nepalese women especially the Dalit face multiple discriminations in getting education. There are many reasons of such discriminations such as parents provide less education to girls than boys thinking that girls’ major responsibility is to look after household than going to school, weak mechanism of safety/security for girls in schools, etc. The parents have also traditional biases towards girl child thinking that their investment on daughters will go in vain after their marriage. Still 29 percent of parents feel that girls are valuable for household work and education for girls is not considered as a good investment whereas in the case of education for boys, 100 percent of parents are affirmative that a boy should go to school (Stri Shakti, & Tuladhar, 2007). Due to the girl child’s inferior status within the family and her obligations to take on more than their share of responsibilities of the household work and farming, girls are often deprived of education even when educational opportunities are easily accessible.

Another study undertaken by Save the Children (2007) showed that gender disparity exist at all levels with least representation of girls especially in lower secondary and higher level. The reason for this is that Dalit community value less far female’s education than male’s education. Other reasons for girls’ dropout are helping at home/farm, child marriage. Furthermore, general reasons associated with Dalit children dropout are poor economic condition, poor academic record, lack of awareness for children education, no encouragement to send their children to school etc.

As above-mentioned DEO data tells that still cent percent children are not in school especially in Dalit community. Save the children US of Nepal had also done research in 1991 in the 5 selected districts of Nepal and found that over 90% of the male and 97% female among the Dalit community were illiterate (JUP, 2001 p.16). Though the data is old by now it clearly shows the then pitiable educational status of Dalit of Nepal.

This study tried to find out the answer to the three research questions related to gender and education. Research question no. 1 has helped me to find out the educational status of girls’ children in comparison to boys, which identify whether a gender bias existing or not in response to providing education to children in the study area? Question no. 2 also helped me to find to what extent gender discrimination existing in the research site and what are the causes behind it. Question 3 helped me to find what types of gender discrimination are highly affected to girls’ education? And question 4 assisted me to understand why actually parents treat differently to their girl and boy children?



Purpose of the Research

Keeping the discriminatory frame in mind I set that the purpose of this research is to examine gender relation in access to education with special focus on enrollment, dropout, and educational attainment of Dalit community.

To address those objectives, I have prepared following research questions:


  1. What is the educational status of people in study site?

  2. What kind of gender relation exists between girls and boys in response to providing education?

  3. How gender related discriminations are affect to girls’ education?

  4. What are the main reasons for gender discrimination?

Significant of the Study

This study particularly deals with gender relation which make out whether gender discrimination or inequality existing or not between boys and girls on access to education among Dalit community. Accordingly, the study explored existing gender relation in response to providing education, the major causes of gender discrimination and dropout of Dalits children. The research findings would be useful to policymakers, planners, governmental and non-governmental organizations for informed policy reform, program implementation and advocacy. Moreover, the methodology and instruments developed and used in this study would offer important reference for similar future studies in different conditions, group and settings.



Organization of the Study

My thesis consists of six chapters. The present chapter contains introduction, research problem, research question and conclusion of the chapter. Chapter two provides a comprehensive literature review in different sub topic which is supported to my study. Chapter three present the overall methodology of my study. Chapter three present the overall methodology of my study. The chapter gives brief description of the study methods and tools. The chapter also includes the techniques used for data analysis and interpretation.

Chapter IV presents the findings of the household survey conducted in the two communities. It represents an analytical description of the households: number of family members by sex and age-group, family types, family income, family profession and educational status of the family. It gives the perception of the surveyed population on importance of education for girls and boys, responsibilities and role of girls' in household, parents' expectation from their sons and daughter.

Chapter V talks about the analysis and discussion of the field data by linking different themes related to study. This chapter focuses on what kind of gender relation is exists in the study site. It shows gender differences such as girls and boys' roles, responsibilities at home and society, presents expectation from their son and daughter, learning environment at home for girls' education. The chapter also includes the factors and consequence of gender discrimination towards girls' education.

Chapter VI is an ending chapter. This gives the major findings and discussion, conclusion and implication of the study. The conclusion of my study is that gender discrimination is still in practice. Discrimination is expressed by parents in the form of biased behavior. Such practice result constraints in regard to access and continued participation of girls in educations.

CHAPTER –II

Literature Review

This section presents the findings of earlier research especially gender discrimination in education, literacy, and status of Dalit in education to provide strong basis of arguing as per the research objectives.



Gender and Society

Different people and different organization defined gender differently. In this context, ICIMOD (1997) has defined Gender is the socially constructed roles and responsibilities assigned to men and women in a given culture location and the societal structures that support them. It is a non- permanent, learned behavior that changes over time. Similarly, CEDAW (1979) defines sex as biological difference between men and women and gender as social construction of roles on the basis of sex. Such gender discrimination is widespread in education of Nepal. I have also experienced and observed many more discriminations based on gender construct.

In the studied society women had felt gender discrimination more than men because they see that more support is given to the sons than to the daughters. This means even the parents do discriminations even in food and dishes. I have also seen this type of discriminations in some families against their daughters. For example, men are offered foods first whereas women have to eat only after male. This shows that gender discrimination exists in the society and this has been a barrier to girls/women’s education. But the forms and intensity of discriminations have been changing over times. The type of gender discrimination that was existed until few years back at school and home does not exist now days because of change of time, situation and change in attitude (Thapa, 2008). But the discrimination has not come completely to an end. For instance, today more girls have access to school. But still they have to fulfill the responsibility at home, which hampers their study. For example, a girl has to be involved in cooking, caring of siblings and others household activities whereas boys are generally free from those activities if they go the school.

Gender Concern in Education

Female education is widely seen to be a “catalyst” for socio-economic development goals such as economic growth and human development (Oxfam, 2000). This implies that education is a must in order to improve the status of women. But in the case of Nepal, the majority of children in rural areas have access to free primary school education. Statistics shows that the primary school enrollment is 80% for boys and 60% for girls, but many of these children repeat classes and the dropout rate is high (NPC, 1996 as cited in Gautam, 1999). The same study also showed that girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys. The negative attitudes, social practices, proverbs, and myths, which discriminate against girls, are supported by different institutions of society, which are: family, medical institutions/practice, legal institutions, customs, tradition, culture, religion and the social community, political structure/government policy, media, formal education system, e.g. schools and curricula (Gautam, 1999). Such practices result in various social evils in society and the continuation of discrimination against girls (UNESCO & UNICEF, 2007).

Education also saves and improves the lives of girls and women. It allows women greater control of their lives and provides them with skills to contribute to their societies. It enables them to make decision for themselves and to influence their families. Education is also a power that produces all the other developmental and social benefits. This exemplifies that women’s participation and influence in governments, families, communities, the economy and the provision of service is a common good. It deals to development that economy and the provision of service, and better child health. In addition to its benefits for girls and women, education is a uniquely positive force with a wide-ranging impact on society and human (UNICEF, 2003). This helps understand that we should take away those types of discrimination against women because girls’ education is fundamental human right and an essential element of sustainable human development. It also provides a clue that Girls’ Education is an Initiative to development. This is why it is envisaged as an integral and essential element in the global efforts to reduce poverty thereby promoting girls’ education to ensure gender equality (UNESCO, 2004).

Considering the situation of girls’ education in the country, the government of Nepal has formulated and implemented different policies and programs for the promotion of girls and women’s education (CERID, 1997). The policy of recruiting at least two female teachers in a primary school, where there are four male teachers has been implemented by the government (MOES, 2003). But female teachers were not easily available to schools. For example, there were only 21 percent female teachers in schools - 25 percent in primary, 12 percent in lower secondary and 7 percent in secondary levels (DOE, 2005, p. 17). But the percentage has been increased by now the shares of female teachers are 42.2%, 25.9% and 17.3% at primary, lower secondary and secondary levels respectively.


For the incensement of girls enrolment in school, government of Nepal and others I/NGOs have implemented different incentives program e.g. girls’ scholarship program, providing mid day meals, school uniform distribution, scholarship for Dalit children etc. Scholarship programs are also implemented especially to attract girls towards education. But the number of girls has not increased as expected. The Welcome to School program has been implemented to bring the out-of-school children to school. But 13 percent of children were still out-of-school (CERID, 2006).

Moreover, Girls are sent to school not because of parents’ awareness but for the incentive benefits that girls receive from schools. Scholarship programs have brought girls to schools and helped to increase their literacy rate. For example gender ratio has reached near parity level (NPC, 2007). The scholarship program has also contributed for increasing enrollment to some extent but it could not retain and reduce dropout of Dalit children particularly among girls. Hence gender gap still exists in education especially in retention and dropout ratio.



The Gender Gap in education

With the United Nation’s Decade for Women (1976-85) the perception of women’s role was expanded from the previous focus on their role within the family and their reproductive tasks, towards ‘an understanding of the complexities of women’s employment and their productive activities (Moser, 1993, as cited in Schaerer, 2005). In line with this emerging new paradigm in the 1970s, Women in Development approach came into existence that focused on girls’ unequal access to education. Two decades later, however, it became apparent that the WID approaches are limited in their scope. As they focused solely on women they did not consider inequalities between men and women (United Mission 1999 Loacher, 2004, as cited in ibid). The subsequently emerging gender and development addresses gender relations and unequal power relationship between men and women. GAD approaches not only considered ways in which women are marginalized, but also tried to know why gender inequalities exist (Leach 2003 as cited in ibid).

In accordance with the evolution of development approaches described above, girls’ unequal participation in education was addressed at the United Nations World Conference on ‘Women’ in Nairobi in 1985. With two thirds of out of school children being girls, the issue was, however, only more tightly focused at the World Conference on ‘Education for All’ in Jomtein, Thailand in 1990 (Leach 1998 cited in Ibid). The achievement of universal access to, and completion of primary education and a reduction of the adult literacy rate by half of the year 2000, were the goals set at the conference. Although some advancement could be registered in achieving the Universal Primary Education (UPE) objectives, the gender gap in access, and particularly also in quality issues of education, remained a critical concern a decade later. At the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000 the original targets were adapted, with the goal of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving UPE of both boys and girls by 2015 with focus on ensuring girls in particular, children belonging to ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged children access to and completion of good quality primary education (UNESCO, 2005 as cited in Schaerer, 2005).

But still in practice we can find larger part of children especially girls couldn’t complete primary education in Nepal. A research done by (Rajbhandary, Karki, and Leslie (1999, p.35) reiterated the above statement that there is expansion of educational facilities and the emphasis on free primary education in Nepal, and yet only half of all children complete class-5.



Educational Status of Dalit in Nepal

Education is empowerment (Amman Affirmation, 1996). Applying this indicator if we examine in Nepal, the data shows that the literacy rate has increased slowly every year. Access to primary education has increased for past three decades due to liberal establishment of public schools as well as due to various effective actions of the government such as free for primary education, textbook free, scholarship program etc. Nearly, 90 percent of children can now get to primary school within 30 minutes. And efforts have also been made to improve quality of education and efficiency of the system under the Basic and Primary Education Project (BPEP-I, 1992-1998 as cited in UNDP, 2004). However, till now universal primary education is not achieved yet. The enrollment rate of Dalit in the total population at around 12%, at primary level the enrolment share of Dalit is 21.5%, whereas the shares at lower secondary and basic levels are 14.2% and 19.6% respectively. (DoE, 2010/11). This means there is a substantial number of Dalit children who are not in school.


Literacy is perceived that it can work towards encountering generation of caste based structural thinking and practices. This means literacy education has also been considered an important force to reduce various forms of caste-based discrimination in society. The above empowerment indicator was proved by the study of Save the Children (2007), which revealed that higher literacy rate corresponds to better socio-economic situation of Chamar the Dalits in terai district.

But the question is portrayal of Dalits because they are also the artisans of the country. Despite this portrayal of Dalit as artisan it is a class and caste group of Hindu society of Nepal. In Nepalese society, they are in last position from the economic sense and more exploited and vulnerable group from the political and socio-cultural point of view (Ahauti, 2004). Textbooks present negative portrayal of Dalit by using certain discriminatory words and phrases (Bhattachan et al, 2007). Apart from it, there are inadequate and ineffective policies initiated by government in favor of Dalit. These policy statements are not addressing these issues The Education Act (1971) (8th amendment), Education bylaws 2002 and Inclusion Provision in Annual Strategies Implementation Plan (ASIP) 2006-07 are the examples. In these documents, there is a provision of Dalit Scholarship program for primary, secondary and higher level but they do not talk about the abolition of caste-based discriminations.


Policy and Practices Related to Gender and Education

Ideally speaking, Education is the fundamental human right of citizen. Different documents including United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Right, Millennium Development Goals (MDG-2 and 3), Education for All (EFA) of UNESCO and World Bank and the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 have mentioned it. Specially MDG,-3 clearly states ‘Promoting gender equality and empowering women’ and sets its target to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education no later than 2015'. In this regards (to translate these provision into practice), it is imperative to understand access to education especially gender issues (discrimination) related to exclusion of Dalit community as well as to explore strong basis for devising context and location specific gender and social (Dalit1) inclusion measures in research site and beyond this. The analysis of the aforesaid documents shows that there are three interrelated rights: ‘The right of access to education’- i.e. Education must be available for all, and it should be accessible and inclusive of all children; ‘The right to quality education’- i.e. Education needs to be child-centered, relevant and embrace a broad curriculum and be appropriately resourced and monitored; and ‘The right to respect within the learning environment’- i.e. Education must be provided in a way that is consistent with human rights, equal respect for culture, religion and language and free from all forms of violence.

Gender issues are also addressed in national plans and programs of the country. The government has formulated policies, plans and programs in order to eliminate gender disparities in education. The recruitment of at least one female teacher for every primary school was envisaged in the Eighth Plan (1992-1997). The Ninth Plan (1997-2002) emphasized making education accessible to women and disadvantaged groups. The Tenth Plan (2002-2007) underlined the need for the development of indicators to assess girls/women’s participation in all sectors including education. Revision of curriculum from the gender perspective and gender training for teachers are also the areas that were covered by the Plan (NPC, 2002).
Different plan and policy has been developed regarding gender and education in Nepal. But still in practice people perceive schooling and gender relations differently. Schooling for boys is perceived as necessary because their development is associated with the parents’ development. Generally parents use to stay with their son (s), and if a son is educated, then they expect return of their investment over the parents. This cultural schooling has also emphasized gender disparity from the parents. It is where parents do not consider formal schooling as a developmental foundation for girls because after marriage girls will go to their husband’s houses and the investment in their education will go waste. After marriage of their daughter, boys’ family will be benefitted but not of them. Such feelings have also increased bias against girls. This is one of the basic reasons why girls’ share at all the levels of schooling is low compared to boys’. The Flash Report (2005) places girls’ share in primary education at 47.40 percent. Similarly, their shares at lower secondary and secondary levels are 45.70 and 45.70 percent respectively (Department of Education, 2005). This share has been better by now and yet it is to be improved where girls' share in primary education at 50.5 percent. Similarly, their shares at lower secondary and secondary levels are 49.9 percent and 48.8 percent respectively (DOE 2010/11)

From the above literature review I found that there are different genders relations or parents treat differently between their girls and boys children in response to providing education to them. Few studies (Thapa, 2008, Bajracharya, 2009, Schaerer, 2005) have been undertaken from gender perspective in education. But there has not been in-depth study regarding gender relation in education with focus on Kathmandu’s dalit communities. So, I became interested to understand: why educational status of girls is low in comparison to boy; what are the factors affecting to girls education; how gender related discriminations expressed in every day practices; how the gender related discriminations are affect to their children’s education, particularly in Dalit communities. In particular, this study has tried to assess the gender relation in access to education which deals how parents treat to their girls and boys children (there is differential treatment between girls and boy children), what types of work burden parents provided to their children (girls and boys), how gender related discriminations affect to children education.



Theoretical Review

There are different theories propounded in the area of social sciences. “Theory means different things to different people. Its role in research and case study research in particular can be better understood if we recognize how theory is being defined and what type of theory we are referring to” (Merriam, 1988, p. 57). A theory establishes a cause and effect relationship between variables for the purpose of explaining and predicting the phenomena (Best & Kahn, 2004, p. 9). The following are the theories that I reviewed in consideration of their relevance to my study.



Feminist Theory: Feminist theory seek to speak the experiences of women, to understand reality from the viewpoint of women, to ask questions that relate to women’s lives, and to uncover the systematic biases and distortions in malestream knowledge (Abbot & Wallace, 1997, p. 299). Feminism gives emphasis to understanding of gender inequality in literacy, educational attainment, access to employment and political participation” (Mathur, 2001). The central thrust of the feminist debate on development is contained in the issue of women’s subordination to men. Thus, the feminist theories are concerned with transforming the society that subordinates women.

There are seven feminist perspectives on gender proposed by Abbot and Wallace (1997). Which are in listed as below.

Table A: Seven feminist perspectives on gender

Feminist Perspectives

Key essences

Liberal Feminism

Concerned with equal citizenship rights which demand laws and practices that give equal rights to men and women

Marxist Feminism

Points out the major reasons for women’s oppression and their exclusion from public production.

The Radical feminism

Explains male control over women as the main problem and argues that women must fight for to free themselves from this control. All women are oppressed irrespective of historical, cultural, class or racial differences.

Materialist Feminism

Argues that women, as a social class, are exploited by men and so they (women) share common interests to oppose those of men.

Dual- systems Feminism

Looks at women’s oppression as an aspect of capitalism and of patriarchal relations.

Post- modernist Feminism

Says that discourse should be made from a women’s point of view. The emphasis in post-modernist theory is on heterogeneity, multiplicity and marginality and on the production of knowledge as opposed to truth and on the existence of multiple realities.

Black Feminism

It lays stress on the emancipation of the Black men and including women

On the basis of above theoretical review one of the weaknesses of the feminist theory is gender biased. It seems that feminist theory is following the tenets of classical social theory. A classical social theory highlights only the contribution of men in the creation of society, so does the feminist theory. It concentrates only on girls and women. Since, both men and women are required for the developments of the society, both are equally important. Based on this shortcoming, I have chosen gender perspective, which looks at social issues from balance perspectives. According to Moser (2003), gender is social and ideological construct and is defined as the ‘…economic, social, political and cultural attributes and opportunities’ associated with the biological sex differences”.

Depending on change over time and socio-cultural context, gender influences among other things-distribution of resources, work decision -making, rights, entitlements and power relation within households as well as in society as a whole (Moser, 2003). With development of gender identities, both female and male are attributed with certain roles, responsibilities and expectation in society. It is further relevant that gender relationships between men and women are affected by other dimensions of “Social identity” such as financial status, ethnicity, religion and age (Moser, 2003). Therefore, gender analysis seems appropriate to understand gender relation.



Gender theorizing continues to become increasingly sophisticated and nuanced, but even after three decades of active attention there is little consensus about what gender is, where it is located, the actual usefulness of such a concept, or whether it can be reconceived to better address social inequalities (Baber, 2010). According to DeFrancisco and Palcczewski (as cited in Baber, 2010), their multi determined social context approach in communicating gender diversity recognizes the influences of intersecting identities and the reciprocal influences of biology, psychology, culture and social hierarchies. They present gender as a cultural ideology and a performed social institution rather than something located within an individual or even constructed in interaction between individual.

Gender related theories and concept: There are following gender related theories and concepts which look appropriate to explain the proposed research areas.

Gender Roles Framework (Harvard): The Harvard Analytical Framework (sometimes referred to as the “Gender Roles Framework” or the “Gender Analysis Framework”) was developed by researchers at the Harvard Institute of International Development (HIID) in collaboration with USAID’s Office of Women in Development.The main objective of this framework is to demonstrate that there is an economic rationale for investing in women as well as men (Overholt, Anderson, Cloud, and J. Austin 1985). It has a matrix with four interrelated componenets for collecting information at micro level which are as follows: i) socio-economic activity profie; ii) access and control profile; iii) analysis of influencing factors; and iv) contains a checklist of key questions to ask at each stage.

Gender Planning Framework (Carolyn Moser): This framework focus on strategic gender needs and concentration on gender inequalities and how to address these at program and policy level. The two main tools used in this framework are i) gender roles identification, and ii) gender needs assessment (Moser, 1993).

Women Empowerment Framework (Sara Longwe): The main objective of this framework is to achieve women’s empowerment by enabling women to achieve equal control over factors of production and participate equally in the development process. The framework distinguishes between women’s issues and concerns as well as identifying three levels of recongnition of women’s issues in project design.

Gender Analysis Matrix (GAM): The gender analysis matrix was developed by A. Rani Parker as quickly employed tool to identify how a particular development intervention will affect women and men (Parker, 1993). It represents one of the earliest efforts to systematize attention to both women and men and their different positions in society. The main objectives of this matrix are to identify how a particular development intervention will affect women and men and a community-based technique to elicit and analyze gender differences and to challenge a community’s assumptions about gender. The major Categories of analysis are Labour, Time, Resources and Culture

Social Relations Framework (SRF): The Social Relations Framework was developed by Naila Kabeer during the early 1990s as a method of analyzing existing gender inequalities in the distribution of resources, responsibilities and power. In accordance with aforesaid theoretical concept I found SRF is more relevant for my study. SRF is an analysis to show how gender and other inequalities are created and reproduced within structural and institutional factors, and then to design policies that can enable women to work to change those factors that constrain them.

According to Leach (2003), it is a powerful means of examining and explaining ‘gender relations’ as constructed and maintained in institutions. It focuses on the relationships between the people and their relationship to resources and activities. So, examining a particular institution with this framework will help in exploring how gender inequality is formed and reproduced in particular institution (March, Smyth & Mukhopadhaya, 2000).

As mentioned in Leach (2003), “Kabeer uses the term ‘social relations’ to describe the structural relationships that create and reproduce systematic differences in the positioning of groups of people” (p.87). According to her, such relationships determine our identity, roles and responsibilities.

Five essential concepts of social relation framework are i) development as increasing human well-being, ii) social relations, iii) institutional analysis, iv) institutional social relationships policies, and v) underlying and structural causes. Among above five essential concepts, I have analyzed my findings by linking with social relations. Social relations are understood as the way in which different groups of people are positioned in relation to material and intangible resources. SR determines people’s roles, responsibilities, claims, rights and control.



Conceptual Framework: As mentioned above there are different understandings to examine gender. Out of them I have employed the essence of gender analysis specially GRF and SRF. The reason is that the GRF is focus on systematic examination of the roles, relationship and processes between women and men in all societies focusing on imbalances in power, wealth and workload. Similarly, SRF is focus on social relation/power relation and mutual and reciprocal relation.

Gender and gender identity are socially constructed through process of socialization, whereby human beings became social persons. What men do and women do, how they behave and interact together with cultural ideas and interpretation of gender differences constitute a gender system.



This system is possible to be analyzed through gender analysis. Gender analysis is the systematic examination of the roles, relationships, and processes between women and men in all societies, focusing on imbalance in power, wealth and workload (EC, 1998). According to ICIMOD (1997), gender analysis is an organized approach for considering gender issues in entire process of programme development. Its purpose is to ensure full incorporation of rules, needs and participation of women and men in development and educational programmed. It requires: disaggregating of data by sex; and an understanding of labor division and its value according to sex. Gender Analysis is done at all stages of development. It approach critically examines and analyses the underlying assumptions of current social, economic and political structure and questions the steps being considered for fundamental goals such as ensuring equity and equality for women in development and education, that were far from being achieved.

On the basis GRF and SRF discussed above I have prepared the following conceptual framework for this study.

Conceptual Framework



Focused group discussion

In-depth interview

Household Survey



Figure 1: Theoretical and Conceptual Framework (Own Graphic based on Review)

The literatures above helped me understand that educational practice against girls/women has been affected by two perspective one is economic (Richness/poorness i.e. high, medium and low) and another is social and religious e.g. Gender (girls/boys), Caste system (higher caste/lower caste). Those perspectives directly or indirectly affect to educational practices and girls/women e.g. enrollment, dropout, education attainment and gender relation. In line with research objectives both qualitative and quantitative research method were used for information gathering process. Furthermore according to GRF and SRF, I have analyzed information or data (disaggregated facts and figure by sex) on girls' education with respect to boys.



Chapter Summary

From the above literature review I found that there are different genders relations or parents treat differently between their girls and boys children in response to providing education to them. Few studies (Thapa, 2008, Bajracharya, 2009, Schaerer, 2005) have been undertaken from gender perspective in education. But there has not been in-depth study regarding gender relation in education with focus on Kathmandu’s dalit communities. So, I became interested to understand: why educational status of girls is low in comparison to boy; what are the factors affecting to girls education; how gender related discriminations expressed in every day practices; how the gender related discriminations are affect to their children’s education, particularly in Dalit communities. In particular, this study has tried to assess the gender relation in access to education which deals how parents treat to their girls and boys children (there is differential treatment between girls and boy children), what types of work burden parents provided to their children (girls and boys), how gender related discriminations affect to children education.

Different theories have been developed to understand and extract meaning out of these varied natures of human beings. In my study I have adopted mainly two theories to back up my analysis and explanations of my research findings such as ‘Social relations Framework’ and 'Gender Role Framework' for detail understanding. Further the everyday life of the girls that would count to explore discriminations practiced against them and its consequences for their study. The social relations approach uses an institutional framework for the analysis of gender inequalities. So it helps to understand the issues I have raised in my study.

CHAPTER –III

Methodology



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