Monday, February 27, 2012

Lehigh Panel Discusses Gender Gap in Education in China and Kenya

To celebrate the 56th annual forum for the Commission on the Status of Women, Lehigh University welcomed three distinguished panelists to their campus today in a parallel event. Their talk, entitled "Gender Gap and Education Development in Rural Areas: Perspectives from China and Kenya," offered different viewpoints from two countries working to achieve gender equality in education.

While the two nations represented in the panel are vastly different, they face some similar challenges. In each country, gender equality has shown vast improvement in urban areas, but has been a greater challenge in rural areas. Both nations are also battling against strong gender norms and societal beliefs that tend to favor males in education and employment.

Our panelists representing the Chinese perspective, Dr. Peggy Kong and Dr. Yuping Zhang, also presented the results of a research project which indicated some of the specific challenges
being faced in that country. Specifically, they noted the trend for women who start families tend to have lower levels of employment and lower overall income. This “marriage and motherhood penalty,” is an unjust societal pressure that encourages women to choose between a family and a career.

Keep checking back on our blog throughout the week as Lehigh students will be reporting live from the CSW!

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