Pathways for gender equality through early childhood teacher policy in China

Author(s): Chi, Jin

Organisation(s): Brookings Institution (USA). Center for Universal Education

Date: 2018

Pages: 18 p.


In spite of efforts to improve the quality of early childhood education for girls and boys globally, incorporating a gender perspective - particularly in teacher policies - remains a gap, including in China. This inattention to early childhood poses an additional barrier for countries to achieve quality education and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In China, gender parity in primary and lower secondary education was achieved almost a decade ago. However, gender-based inequalities in education processes and outcomes - e.g., biased sex ratio at birth, different education aspirations, labor market discrimination, and restricted female leadership - persist as a result of deeply entrenched gender stereotypes that are formed early in life. The next step to improving gender equality in China is to provide a quality, gender-sensitive education for a harmonious and sustainable society. Fortunately, the Chinese government is promoting gender equality in schools and is set to develop policies in early childhood education and teacher quality. This paper highlights the gaps and opportunities in bringing gender equality into early childhood teacher policy in China. Drawing from a review of global examples, the paper concludes by outlining aspects at the education system and pedagogical levels to ensure gender-responsive teaching and learning for all kindergarten children so China can build upon its sustainable approach to gender equality and education development.

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