ASEAN’s Gender Inequality in Education

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Angkana Asawasakulkrai
Kanisorn Tubtim


As education is one of the first basic human rights, this study examines the landscape of gender inequality specifically in the educational context within Southeast Asia. Schools have unparallel abilities to educate, cultivate, and instill the value system into children as they grow and learn to become productive members of society. The study explores the overall status of gender inequality in ASEAN and investigates both explicit and implicit gender-related issues found in primary, secondary, and tertiary educations. The study gathers primary data from the school visits in Thailand, gender expert interviews, and teachers’ surveys from ASEAN member countries, which were conducted by the Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (CPCS), National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA). The results corroborate the gender situation in ASEAN in that gender inequality in education still exists in great lengths. Gender roles, norms, and stereotypes widely dictate people’s way of life and practices. Gender hierarchy where males are considered superior and the patriarchal structure remain in the front row seat in almost all areas of life. In consequence, the education system in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are in serious need of a radical change and reform. It would benefit from gender mainstreaming policy, including direct policy interventions in educational curricula, textbooks, school’s staff and faculty’s understanding and perceptions of gender issues, and other school practices. Meanwhile, the promotion of gender equality must also be a priority.

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