Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-9465-3 • Hardback • July 2021 • $110.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-4985-9466-0 • eBook • July 2021 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
Thera Mjaaland is a researcher in the department of social anthropology at Addis Ababa University and adjunct associate professor at the Institute for Environment, Gender, and Development at Mekelle University.
At the frontiers of evolving gender perspectives, Mjaaland poses a central question: to what extent are the Ethiopian government's efforts for boy-girl equality in conflict with hard-lived gender norms, which hinder girls' educational accomplishments relative to boys', and how successful are they? Society frequently blames girls for their lesser academic achievements and lower test scores, perceiving the lack as a personal shortcoming rather than the result of cultural and structural obstacles. Drawing on many interviews with and case studies of secondary students over some 20 years in a northwestern Tigray market town, Mjaaland concludes that supposed gender parity, though desirable, is insufficient to overcome community norms. Educational norms, which often emphasize rote memorization over critical thinking, may further influence girls to hold back and keep quiet, contributing to their diminishing academic successes. Though she stresses the role of education, Mjaaland touches on such related topics as underage marriage, virginity, and urban-rural distinctions, recognizing that economic imperatives may supersede gender opportunities. The many interviews with and case studies of secondary-school boys and girls offer a gold mine of information for researchers. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty.— Choice Reviews