Public-Private Partnerships in Education and the Pursuit of Gender Equality: A View from South Asia
AbstractThe introduction of public-private partnerships (PPPs) into the educational sphere has opened up the sector to a wide range of new private providers in India and Pakistan. The global literature has indicated that the growth in partnerships that provide targeted programmes for girls, in locations where parents prefer to enrol their daughters in these new private schools rather than state schools, will further reduce any existing gender gap. A specific focus on gender equality considerations within PPP programmes is necessary to analyse new evidence on gender equality. A review of national documents on education for India and Pakistan indicates that the concept of gender equality was not included in the original education policy documents, and gender concerns were introduced through a particular institutional history of engagement between international and national policy interventions. District and village data show that there was very little gendered difference in how parental generations studied viewed the educational pathways of their sons and daughters. The younger generation studied are not confident that they will be able to enter gainful employment, which raises policy concerns that the lack of employment for this younger generation could undo any reduction in the gender gap as increased poverty pushes girls out of school in the next two decades.