HomeEducation in Asia

HomeEducation in Asia

Education in Asia

Éduquer en Asie

Mixité, égalité des sexes et enjeux spatiaux

Co-education, gender equality and space-related issues

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Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2016


This dossier of the Cahiers d’Outre-Mer reviews the effectiveness of the coeducation and the gender equality in school systems in different Asian countries. A multidisciplinary perspective crossing the top-down and bottom-up approaches will allow us to spotlight the different actors of the considered spaces. A comparative approach which includes the diversity of the specific national trajectories and the transnational movement of the ideas and knowledge, will show how the co-education and gender equality are shaping dynamics and spatial issues in which individual people and groups and also institutions and politics are evolving.



COM (Cahiers d’Outre-Mer) is a biannual review, acknoledged by the French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education, with an editorial board and a scientific board , dotée d'un comité de rédaction et d'un comité scientifique, published by the University Press of Bordeaux, and supported by LAM (UMR. 5115) « Sciences Po Bordeaux » laboratory. COM review is lead by multidisciplinary team with researchers willing to highlight interactions between politics and spaces, and between environment and societies. This Issue 276 of COM aims at examining education as a phenomenon ruled by national and international authorities.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, concerning education, the Philippines ranked first, way ahead of Japan (93th). Despite the socio-economic disparities within the Asian countries, they share a similar situation: gender equality in education is not accomplished. For example, Sri Lanka ranked 59th, Indonesia 78th, China 98th, South Korea 103th and Cambodia 124th. This ranking invite us to examine and compare education structures in northern and southern countries, from Japan to India, through national and international bodies.

After the Second World War, the co-education is compulsory in most countries in Asia although its principles are considered in specific contexts (Gail, 1990): depending on the type of institution (public or private) and school level (pre-primary to higher education). The school foresees to be a place of gender equality, providing shared spaces which must be examined through the lens of official discourses and daily school practices (Maruéjouls, 2014). Although educational policies support gender equality, the contemporary school system provides a gendered hierarchy (Di Méo, 2011; Collet, 2016). Therefore, schools remain places where individuals are learning gender relations in which social control have a heavy influence.

With its multidisciplinary perspective, crossing the top-down and bottom-up approaches to spotlight the different actors of the considered spaces, this dossier of Cahiers d’Outre-Mer reviews the effectiveness of the coeducation and the gender equality. Is co-education defined by institutional guidance, or effective through individuals’ representations and expectations? Is this knowledge co-produced and reinvested by the local stakeholders? What kind of local initiatives can be the basis to provide co-education? It is also interesting to consider these education systems to put them into perspective and also the socio-economic changes in Asia to underline their diversity. Most of the Asian countries, actually with capitalist rules, have indeed their histories rooted in the decolonization process and have seen major socio-economic changes since WW2.

Within a context where demographic weight has a heavy impact, social system of these countries are broadly shaped by the transnational movement of ideas and knowledge. Education spaces are as many as public spaces of these societies. They are tailored to a country's specific circumstances and to the local stakeholders and show how co-education and right to education are still mixed (Peppin Vaughan, 2013; Anjum, 2011 ; Bélanger ; Liu, 2004 i.e.). Individuals are not only passive people integrating these norms. For instance, co-education was thought to support the development of young girls’ capabilities (Drèze, Sen, 2014). Papers presenting some specific examples of students or teacher’s reshuffle of knowledge and practices will be highly appreciated.

The co-education can be also examined through some of its bases (history, debates and arguments, difference between co-education and gender balance (“mixity”)), its implementation (school curricula, teaching methods, space sharing), its legal framework (educational institutions, laws), school accessibility (rural areas/urban areas, levels of exclusion for girls) and its representations (discriminatory teaching practices, acknowledgement or unawareness of gender stereotypes from teachers, parents, students and others).

Main topics

This issue aims at raising the implementation of co-education in the school system considering several axes

-  1/ Spaces and school facilities ‘attending and use: How do they reflect inequality between girls and boys? How do spaces and school practices contribute to maintaining gender hierarchic system? How does it reflect some tensions or some relationship of dominance?

-  2/ Education measures and co-education spaces: why does school remain a gender segregated space, when and under which circumstances? What are the lags and the gaps between practices, cultures and discourses? Do teachers have some agency for this issue? Is there some special spaces in order to facilitate the gender relations or the gender segregation? How can the children make these spaces their own and appropriate gender standards and socio cultural codes? How can they construct their personal identities?

-  3/ Co-education spaces issues: What are children’s and teachers’ perceptions? Are teachers aware of sexism in education? What are the measures taken by the different education policies? Is coeducation still an issue? What are the main discussions and debates about it? Is there any relation between the school coeducation effectiveness and sex equality in society?

-  4/ From co-education to equality: If co-education is necessary, it is not sufficient to foster sex equality. What is the role of the daily schooling practices in the gender inequality? How teachers are dealing with those issues? Can we conclude to some changes due to gender equality policies in education (considering their influence on sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia…)? What is the role of the school in the transmission and the rejection of sexist stereotypes? What is the role of the United Nations with the target 3 of the Millennium Development Goals “Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education”?

We invite researchers to handle this issue within their own discipline. Countries of Asia are to be considered, preferably focusing on the pre-primary and the primary education, which is until now less explored compared with higher education. Studies from multiscalar approach and from recent fieldworks are welcome.


  • Anjum Halai, « Equality or equity: Gender awareness issues in secondary schools in Pakistan », International Journal of Educational Development 2011/ 31 (Issue 1), p. 44-49.
  • Bélanger Danièle, Liu Jianye, « Social policy reforms and daughters’ schooling in Vietnam», International Journal of Educational Development 2004/24 (Issue 1), p. 23-38.
  • Collet Isabelle, L’école apprend-t-elle l’égalité des sexes ?, Paris, Belin, collection « égale à égal », 2016, 80 p.
  • Di Méo Guy, Les murs invisibles, femmes et géographie sociale, Paris, Armand Colin, coll.
  • Recherche, 2011, 344 p.
  • Drèze, Jean ; Sen, Amartya (2014), Splendeur de l'Inde ? : Développement, démocratie et inégalités, Paris : Flammarion, 400p.
  • Forum Economique Mondial, Rapport mondial sur la parité entre hommes et femmes (The Global Gender Gap Report), 2014. URL:http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2014/
  • Gail P. Kelly, « Education and equality: Comparative perspectives on the expansion of education and women in the post-war period », International Journal of Educational Development 1990/ 10 (Issues 2–3), p.131-141.
  • Maruéjouls, Edith, « Mixité, égalité et genre dans les espaces du loisir des jeunes. Pertinence d’un paradigme féministe », 2014, thèse de Géographie.
  • Peppin Vaughan Rosie, « Complex collaborations: India and international agendas on girls’ and women's education », 1947–1990, International Journal of Educational Development 2013/ 33 (Issue 2), March 2013, p. 118-129.


  • Aline HENNINGER, PhD candidate, Center for Japanese Studies, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales.
  • Emilie PONCEAUD GOREAU, PhD candidate, Université de Bordeaux-Montaigne, laboratoire PASSAGES et Center for South Asian Studies, Paris.


-  Authors will be given until until July 30th, 2017, to provide their full papers (a maximum of 50,000 characters, including bibliography, abstract, key-words, author’s presentation with home university or institute, and complete mailing address and web adress) at emilie.ponceaud@yahoo.fr and aline.henninger@free.fr.

-  The papers will be published at the end of December, 2017.

-  Name of the email: COM, date (month year), name, title of the papers. Send in .doc or .docx.


  • Sunday, July 30, 2017


  • éducation, Asie, mixité, égalité des sexes, espace de mixité, politique publique, changement social, système éducatif


  • Emilie Ponceaud Goreau
    courriel : emilieponceaud [at] yahoo [dot] fr
  • Aline Henninger
    courriel : aline [dot] henninger [at] free [dot] fr

Information source

  • Anthony Goreau-Ponceaud
    courriel : anthonygoreau [at] yahoo [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Education in Asia », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, https://calenda.org/385367

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