Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1997 Issue »

    Women and Education in Eritrea

    A Historical and Contemporary Analysis

    Asgedet Stefanos
    In this article, Asgedet Stefanos examines women and education in the east African nation of Eritrea. She tackles as her central questions whether, and to what extent, Eritrean women have been achieving emancipation; and, if so, what role education has played in that process. Stefanos begins by providing a historical overview that delineates Eritrean women's general social condition and access to education in pre--colonial traditional society and during the eras of Italian and British colonialism. She then evaluates developments during Eritrea's protracted national liberation struggle against Ethiopia and the four years since independence. Stefanos documents significant advances in the emancipation of women and highlights education as a vital arena for change. She observes shortcomings in the Eritrean political leadership's strategy to establish effective educational equity for women, as well as disparities between the goals and assessments of policymakers and the aspirations and experiences of women. Her discussion of contemporary Eritrea is informed by policies and commentary of political leaders and interviews with a diverse sample of Eritrean women. Stefanos concludes by asserting that the current situation confronting an independent Eritrea promotes new obstacles and challenges to a vigorous pursuit of female rights and gender equality, and that the prospects for expanding women's gains in education are very much in the balance.

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    Winter 1997 Issue


    The History of Women in Education
    Christine A. Woyshner, Bonnie Hao Kuo Tai
    Reflections on Writing a History of Women Teachers
    Kathleen Weiler
    Women and Education in Eritrea
    A Historical and Contemporary Analysis
    Asgedet Stefanos
    Reconsidering a Classic
    Assessing the History of Women's Higher Education a Dozen Years after Barbara Solomon
    Linda Eisenmann
    The African American Female Elite
    The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960
    Linda M. Perkins
    The Hidden Half
    A History of Native American Women's Education
    Deirdre A. Almeida
    Conflicted Progress
    Coeducation and Gender Equityin Twentieth-Century French School Reforms
    Marilyn Mavrinac
    The Road to College
    Hmong American Women's Pursuit of Higher Education
    Stacey J. Lee

    Book Notes

    We Can't Eat Prestige
    By John Hoerr

    The Seed Is Mine
    By Charles van Onselen

    The Essential Piaget
    Edited by Howard E. Gruber and J. Jacques Vonëche

    Journey With Children
    By Frances P. Lothrop Hawkins

    Guided Reading
    By Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

    One Child, Two Languages
    By Patton O. Tabors

    Taking Note
    By Brenda Miller Power

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