Gender in Education Development and Cooperation in Korea: Hidden figures or structured powers
한국 교육개발협력에서의 젠더: 숨겨진 사람들 혹은 구조화된 권력

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사범대학 협동과정글로벌교육협력전공
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서울대학교 대학원
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 사범대학 협동과정글로벌교육협력전공, 2018. 8. 유성상.
Over the past few decades, gender equality has been considered a significant and crosscutting issue and has been recognized as a fundamental principle in development cooperation (KVINFO, 2018). Given this, gender equality in education has been actively promoted by many international treaties and organisms, and it has also been pursued as an achievement goal in Korea’s international development. How are gender and gender equality perceived in the context of education, though? Is the perception that more girls and women, hidden figures in education development and cooperation, should be integrated into schooling? Or that gender is a constructed social relation or power, and education a process of conscientization to challenge inequity and oppression?

This research aims to explore the vocabularies and semantic meanings of gender equality in education used by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in its programs when cooperating with development partners in academia. This research was based on two approaches: the women in development (WID) approach and the gender and development (GAD) approach. To this end, the study explored the perception and concept of gender reflected in the program, gender or women’s issues reflected in the process of the program’s projects, and the gender–related results attained as outputs of the program.

This research conducted content analysis with insights taken from Unterhalter’s categorization of four approaches concerning gender, education, and development: WID, GAD, post-structuralism, and human development. The contents of the KOICA program, such as brochures, leaflets, and guidelines introducing and describing the program, and 52 final project reports from 2014 to 2016 were examined in a deductive process of content analysis. Specifically, a categorization framework was developed, and data were coded based on the categorization framework. Then, an analytical framework was developed based on Unterhalter’s categories to explore how gender, gender equality, and education were understood in the program.

The findings demonstrate the predominance of the WID approach, with a trace of the GAD approach. Many of the program’s projects pursued greater access to and retention in education for girls and women, and various procedures were implemented to promote accessibility of education to girls and women. This is also shown in figures concerning women’s access and participation, reported as necessary results.

According to analyses of the program, the most prominent problems in its projects were gendered relations and powers. However, they remained at the level of identification
they were neither explicitly nor thoroughly challenged through the program. Gender needs and interests were identified, but these were primarily practical gender needs identified by women in their socially accepted roles, and thus—although they arise out of these issues—they did not challenge the gender division of labor or women’s subordinate position in society (Moser, 1993). Nevertheless, education regarding gender, which could provide participants with insight into the gendered structure, was conducted in some projects.

This research offers a starting point to understand how gender-related problems in education are diagnosed and how the nature of the challenge is interpreted in practice. The study does not explore the experiences of other sides of development—stakeholders, beneficiaries, and partners in developing countries—in the program. However, investigating how donors understand the issue of gender equality in education is significant, because it affects how they approach what they recognize as problems of gender inequality in education. Furthermore, this research serves as a first step in exploring why the WID approach prevails in education development and cooperation in Korea, a topic to be pursued in future research.
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College of Education (사범대학)Program in Global Education Cooperation (협동과정-글로벌교육협력전공)Theses (Master's Degree_협동과정-글로벌교육협력전공)
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