More Girls Now Attending School in Developing Countries
Attitudinal shifts in developing countries have resulted in the rise of girls attending school. Dr. Fran Vavrus, an assistant professor of comparative and international education, said, "We tend to blame parents and so-called traditional attitudes . . . [but] attitudes among policymakers and parents have changed quite radically. When schools are built closer to a village so that parents don't have to send their daughters a long way, the schools fill up . . . Parents in many places in the world have seen that girls are often the 'better investment,' if you want to use that language, because they may be more likely to send remittances and to care for their parents in their old age," Vavrus added.
An expert on gender and development with a specialty in sub-Saharan Africa, Vavrus cautions that the grim realities many girls in these nations face should not be forgotten. "School is not necessarily an empowering institution . . . Being pushed to have sex with teachers is not an uncommon occurrence."
The article, entitled "Gains for Girls, But Many Still Shut Out," appeared in the May 4 edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
Published Wednesday, May. 11, 2005