In order to critically analyze gender policy in relation to education, I would have to first point out that the policy of education is a politics, that is, it is socially constructed and its social construction involves relations of power and resistance on the basis of class, gender, race and ethnicity, and the economic and ideological links of these as well as their historical roots.
The change in policy making concerning gender and education over the last three decades or so, which came about due to the struggle and resistance of the women?s liberation movement, feminists and social activists (including teacher federations) and progressive academics, has resulted in tremendous gains for women. These changes led to the increase in female participation in education and employment which have yielded many benefits for women: - Independence ? women were able to show that they can rely on themselves.
- They started to gain more power - By showing that they are just as capable and competent as men are, they were able to change the traditional notion about women?s place and ability Women?s struggle for equality and rights, coupled with their participation outside the home, enabled men to rethink women?s issues.
Significant issues were brought out in the open, such as pay equity, discrimination in hiring and promotion, sexual harassment which led to the formation of humanitarian policies such as affirmative action programs, equal pay legislation, and legislation on sexual harassment.
Feminist research ? especially more recently, and even more specifically because of the influence and the writings of women of colour -- was able to expose the sexist, racist, and class biases present in the curriculum, in academic research, and in the practices of academia, for example, bureaucratic processes. They were also able to show the link between: - the social...