The idea that gender equality in education has been achieved is now a staple of public debate. As a result, educational policies and practices often do not deal explicitly with gender issues, such as sexual abuse, harassment or violence. Exaggeration of neoliberalism’s successes in creating individual opportunity in education conceals ongoing problems and ignores the continuing need for a fair and equal education for all, regardless of gender or sexuality.
In this manifesto for education, Miriam David rejects the notion that gender equality has been achieved in our age of neoliberalism. She puts the focus back onto issues such as changing patterns of women’s and girls’ participation in education across the globe, feminist strategies for policy and legal interventions around human rights, and violence against women and children. She discusses waves of feminism linked to school-teaching and pedagogies in higher education as well as an illuminating case study of an international educational programme to challenge gender-related violence.
Revealing neoliberal education to be ‘misogyny masquerading as metrics’, Miriam David argues for changes in the patriarchal rules of the game, including questioning ‘gender norms’ and stereotypical binaries, and for making personal, social, health and sexuality education mainstream.
About the Author:
Miriam E. David is Emeritus Professor at the UCL Institute of Education. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.