IDSA01H3 Chapter 8: WEEK 8 GENDER GAPS
DepartmentInternational Development Studies
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Gender Gaps in Higher Education Across Central Asia
- Following dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, geographical region of Central Asia
was reorganized into five independent states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
-CA—4 million sq km—population of 70 mil
-In tertiary education (post-secondary), Central Asia may be the only world region
where rates of female participation both markedly exceed the world average of
50%!and!fall well below that figure.
-Women in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are more likely than men to enter tertiary
education, whereas fewer than 40% of their neighbors in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and
Uzbekistan are studying at this level.
- Tajikistan-- the proportion of women accessing tertiary education has increased by
nearly 10% since the turn of the century whereas Uzbekistan is witnessing a gradual
decline in female enrolment. Why?!
The Soviet mask!
- The Central Asian nations have a shared history of being republics of the Soviet Union
for most of the 20th century, the impact of which was deep and far-reaching
- Soviet rule brought formal tertiary education to the region for the first time and left a
legacy of near universal literacy rates and an extensive, if over-centralized,
comprehensive system of education in each country
- Female participation in tertiary education expanded in all of the countries, although
even by 1960 there were more women enrolled in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan than
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, a!pattern that has remained constant!since
the countries gained independence in 1991!
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