The Global Spread of Women’s Schooling

Robert A. LeVine

in Learning in the Global Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520254343
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941496 | DOI:
The Global Spread of Women’s Schooling

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This chapter considers women's access to education in developing countries and examines the impact of women's education through a novel conceptual framework. It presents the results of research on the effects of women's schooling in four countries – Mexico, Nepal, Zambia, and Venezuela – during the second half of the twentieth century, focusing specifically on literacy and language acquisition, and its consequences for girls and their families. Building on the existing corpus of scholarship on the role of women's schooling for achieving gender equity and addressing health, population, and family problems, the chapter discusses how school experience for girls and women actually affects socially desirable outcomes such as health, fertility, and child development. It argues that specific literacy and language skills, including familiarity with the ‘academic register’ (language peculiar to schooling and bureaucratic environments), have far-reaching benefits for women and their families. The chapter thus demonstrates a potential pathway from school attendance to changes in health, family, and child outcomes in developing countries.

Keywords: Mexico; Nepal; Zambia; Venezuela; women; education; developing countries; literacy; health; child development

Chapter.  6154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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