From gender issues to gender statistics on non-formal adult education and training: illustrative examples
||Sources of data
|Do employed women participate as much as employed men in vocational training?
||Participation in job-related non-formal education and training by sex.
Participation in continuing vocational training in enterprises by sex.
|Do women have less access than men to agricultural information and technology?
||Use of agricultural extension services by sex.
Annual reports of extension offices.
- + Gender issues
- In the more developed regions, employed women tend to participate less than employed men in job-related non-formal education and training (Eurostat, 2011). The obstacles to women’s participation may include a lack of opportunities on the employer’s side and individual constraints. For example, women tend to participate less than men in training in large companies where men dominate the managerial positions associated with more frequent opportunities for training. However, when equal training opportunities are available to women and men, women are able to participate less often than men for family-related reasons (UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, 2009; Eurostat, 2011).
In the less developed regions, women use agricultural extension services less often than men (Swanson and Rajalahti, 2010). Agricultural extension is an educational process aimed at bringing information and technology to farmers in order to improve their agricultural productivity. Women’s lower use of this type of educational service is due to several causes (Saito and Weidemann, 1990; Swanson and Rajalahti, 2010). First, women’s role in the agricultural economy has been overlooked because their traditional products are consumed within the household or sold locally more often than men’s. Second, female-headed farm households may have reduced labour availability and fewer assets than male-headed farm households, constraining their farming system options and productivity. Third, women’s heavy workload limits their time available to participate in extension services meetings. Lastly, social norms and perceptions may contribute to women’s exclusion. Women have traditionally been regarded as having less decision-making power in the household. Also, cultural, including religious, factors sometimes inhibit male agents communicating with women farmers. However, awareness of the need to reach more women through extension services has increased, as women’s involvement in agricultural activity, their decision-making power and their underutilized potential has gained more recognition (Swanson and Rajalahti, 2010).
- + Data needed
- Data on non-formal adult education and training may refer to:
(a) Participation in non-formal education and training by sex;
(b) Participation in continuing vocational training in enterprises by sex;
(c) Use of agricultural extension services by sex.
- + Sources of data
- Household surveys on adult education and training, conducted thus far in the more developed regions, can be used to collect data on participation in job-related training along with information on types of obstacles to participation, reasons for participation, number of hours invested or cost of training.
Enterprise surveys may cover participation in vocational training, along with other individual, job and company characteristics.
Multipurpose household surveys conducted in countries with a substantial proportion of the population working in agriculture can be used to collect data on the use of extension services along with other information on extension subjects (crops, livestock or other activities) and individual-level information on ownership and use of assets, cultivated area, types of crops and literacy.
Annual reports of extension offices may include sex-disaggregated information on individuals who used agricultural extension services as well as data on the sex composition of the staff involved in delivering the agricultural information.
- + Conceptual and measurement issues
- Thus far, non-formal adult education and training has not been part of the regular programme of data collection in national statistical offices and ministries of education. Although lifelong learning activities received considerable attention in the Beijing Platform for Action, gender statistics related to this topic are rarely produced. In the European Union, guidelines on the measurement of formal and non-formal adult education were recently developed by Eurostat and surveys such as the Adult Education Survey and the Continuing Vocational Training Survey are conducted in many European countries. However, as yet there are no international efforts to develop data collection instruments focused on adult education and training specific to the less developed regions.