Bending the private-public gender norms: negotiating schooling for young mothers from low-income households in Kenya

Alice Weseka Nelima

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

Despite gender equity concerns in education emerging as a key area of
interventions and debates within the global justice arena, the educational needs
of pregnant schoolgirls and student-mothers have received minimal attention.
This research is an attempt to make visible the experiences of young mothers
from a rural community in Kenya and their efforts to realise their right to
education. By interrogating the policy environment that guides the education
of student-mothers and their lived experiences at schools, households and
neighbourhoods, this research unveils how material and discursive dimensions
of gender relations interact with other factors such as insecure livelihoods to
mitigate schooling for student-mothers. The research findings point to the
positive agency and resilience of student-mothers and their potential to trans-
form gendered ideologies that seek to confine motherhood to the private
sphere as they participate in formal education as pregnant schoolgirls and
mothers. However, for the right to education for young mothers to be fully
realised, policies must be attendant to the material and discursive situation of
student mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages51
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series
Number515
ISSN0921-0210

Series

  • ISS Working Paper-General Series

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