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Contribution to Book
Grounds for prioritizing education for girls: The telling case of left-behind rural China
Education for All: Global Promises, National Challenges International Perspectives on Education and Society (2007)
  • Vilma Seeberg, Kent State University - Kent Campus
  • Heidi Ross, Indiana University - Bloomington
  • Jinghuan Liu, Kent State University - Kent Campus
  • Guangyu Tan, Kent State University - Kent Campus
Abstract
This chapter reviews the status of Education For All (EFA) in China and identifies four gaps: between rural and urban residents, between residents of geographic regions, between ethnicity groups, and between the genders. It turns to examine the educational situation and interests of girls weighed down by the crushing burden of multiple disadvantages in ‘‘left-behind’’ Western China. Based on analysis of macro-level socio-economic and educational conditions, along with rich micro-level data on girls’ vigorous pursuit of education, the authors argue that the changing conditions of rural girls’ lives and their education can best be understood from a critical empowerment perspective. Summarizing the global discourse and cross national evidence on the benefits of girls’ education, the chapter and looks beyond a utilitarian perspective and argues for the cogency of a critical empowerment framework. Filled with telling stories and case studies of Han Chinese, Tibetan, and Muslim girls, this chapter proposes that prioritizing girls’ education in Western China is crucial and required for achieving the MDG of gender parity. Even though girls are often stranded by family financial conditions, their actions and ideas seeing education as their future reflect a changing gender identity and role in the family and society. The fieldwork suggests that educating girls promotes localized development, reduces dangerous levels of economic gaps and social instability, but also advances hard to measure effects: personal and civil empowerment, and sustainable, harmonious cultural change – as well as MDG.
Keywords
  • Girls Education,
  • Rural Education,
  • Chinese Education,
  • Inequality in Education
Publication Date
2007
Editor
Weisman, A.
Publisher
Elsevier Ltd
ISBN
ISSN: 1479-3679/doi:10.1016/S1479-3679(06)08004-2
Citation Information
Vilma Seeberg, Heidi Ross, Jinghuan Liu and Guangyu Tan. "Grounds for prioritizing education for girls: The telling case of left-behind rural China" Education for All: Global Promises, National Challenges International Perspectives on Education and Society Vol. Volume 8 (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vilma_seeberg/1/