GENDER AND SCHOOLING IN LAO PDR The Confluence of Ethnic Minority Status, Politics, and History
Her, Leena N.
Brown, E. L.; Zong, G.
Charlotte : Information Age Publishing-Iap, 2017.
This study explores the educational experiences of women from 1 ethnic group, the Hmong, to gain insight into how government and multilateral institutions working on eliminating gender disparities in education might close these gaps. Research, policy, and development documents argue that disparities within the Hmong community exist due to patriarchal society, cultural preference of the Hmong to send boys to school, poverty, culture, remoteness, and a lack of knowledge about the importance of education for girls (Inui, 2009; Ireson-Doolittle & Moreno-Black, 2004; King & van de Walle, 2007). These assessments are based on survey studies completed primarily by economists and researchers of multilateral and government agencies. The experiences of Hmong women in this study argues that opportunities to go to school operate within a complex set of cultural, political, and historical constraints. The findings of this study challenges explanations set forth by government and development agencies which frame gender gaps in education as problems originating from within ethnic minority communities. This study argues that framing disparities in educational attainment as originating from deficits within ethnic communities absolves government agencies from addressing issues that contribute to inequitable access to schooling.