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Gender structure and women’s agency: toward greater theoretical understanding of education for transformation

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Under the research radar, and yet highly influential in transformation of practices concerning the social understanding and enactment of gender, are women-led non-governmental organizations (WNGOs). Their continued efforts to reconfigure gender identities and their impact on public policy formation have expanded notions of citizenship and democracy as well as moved social justice to greater levels of concreteness. This article seeks to contribute to the literature by probing the role of WNGOs as educational institutions that both create and disseminate knowledge about gender inequalities and gender justice and, in so doing, foster the formation of assertive individual and collective identities that subsequently influence the public arena through their advocacy of measures to reduce inequalities between women and men. The work by these WNGOs confirms the theoretical premise that to effect social change, new knowledge must be created by the very groups that seek to alter the disadvantageous conditions that confront them.
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Keywords: gender; informal learning; nonformal education; transformative education; women’s adult education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Maryland, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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