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ERIC Number: EJ1099744
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
Individual Empowerment Is Not Enough: Using a Social Norms Lens to Understand the Limited Educational Uptake of Vietnam's Hmong Girls
Jones, Nicola; Presler-Marshall, Elizabeth; Van Anh, Tran Thi
Policy Futures in Education, v14 n5 p539-555 Jun 2016
While on a national level Vietnam has achieved--and surpassed--gender parity in education, restrictive social norms that value Hmong girls primarily for their future roles as wives, daughters-in-law and mothers have largely precluded their advancement to high school. Drawing on qualitative data collected in the country's Hmong homeland in Ha Giang province, in the remote mountains bordering China, we found evidence of the non-linear nature of change and the limits of legal reform. On the one hand, strong national and local commitment to primary education has transformed expectations in only one generation. Hmong girls are not only attending school for the first time, but despite their heavy domestic workloads, they are regularly outperforming their male peers. On the other hand, because Hmong tradition sees sons, but not daughters, as vital to the religious and economic continuity of the family, girls continue to suffer from parental under-investment. While most girls are beginning to dream of high school, and some of university or teachers college, the filial piety demanded by their elders leaves them with few opportunities to translate their dreams into action. The paper concludes that improving Hmong girls' educational uptake will take more than educational policy and girl-power--it will necessitate broader inter-sectoral and tailored attention to the web of gender norms binding them to the past.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vietnam
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A