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Gender inequality in secondary education in Ghana

Bamora, Florence Naah


Florence Naah Bamora


Suzanne Clisby


This thesis examines some of the issues surrounding extensive gender inequalities operating within the school, family and the wider society which affect girls’ rights to education. It reveals that institutional culture within the home, community and school reinforces gender inequality and continue to limit girls’ access to school and in performing equally to boys, especially in science and mathematics subjects. It is based on interviews, focus group discussions, observations and life history interviews I conducted with students (girls and boys between the ages of 15 and 22), school dropouts, teachers, parents and education officials in a secondary school in Ghana. Following a brief review of the literature on the construction of gender in general and femininity in particular, as well as literature on gender and education, focusing mainly on factors and causes of girls’ unequal access to, and performance in schooling in Ghana and Africa in general, I analyse the differential experiences of schoolgirls and how these gendered experiences impact on their performance, achievements, choice of subject and future aspirations from a gendered perspective, using the social construction of gender as a theoretical framework. It explores the ways in which teachers’ and parents’ attitudes discriminate against girls on gender lines and help to perpetuate particular perceptions and expectations about the appropriate education of boys and girls.

This thesis also examines the factors and situations which contribute to the incidence of high dropout rates among girls in the study area with an emphasis on household factors such as poverty, pregnancy and gendered cultural practices. It analyzes how leaving school without adequate skills and qualifications impacts negatively on the career prospects of school dropouts, especially girls. It evaluates the successes and challenges of Girls’ Education Unit (GEU) and government policies at improving girls’ educational attainment and opportunities with emphasis on how educational officials perceive government policies in achieving gender equality in the study area and suggests gender sensitive strategies and policies that would help bridge the gender gap as well as provide guidance for educational policy makers in the Ghanaian education system.


Bamora, F. N. (2011). Gender inequality in secondary education in Ghana. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Feb 28, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Social sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Social Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 2011


Thesis (1.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2011 Bamora, Florence Naah. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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