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« Non-formal adult education and training »

Modified on 2013/05/23 12:06 by Haoyi Chen Paths: Read in Order Categorized as Chapter 2 - Education
From gender issues to gender statistics on non-formal adult education and training: illustrative examples

Policy-relevant questions Data needed Sources of data
Do employed women participate as much as employed men in vocational training? Participation in job-related non-formal education and training
Participants in continuing vocational training in enterprises
Household surveys

Enterprise surveys
Do women have less access to agricultural information and technology than men? Use of agricultural extension services by sex Household surveys Annual reports of extension offices

  • + Gender issues
    • Employed women from more developed regions tend to participate less than men in job-related non-formal education and training (Eurostat, 2011). The obstacles to women’s participation may be in terms of opportunities available from the employer’s side and individual constrains. For example, women tend to participate less than men in training in large size companies where men dominate the managerial positions associated with more frequent opportunities for training. However, when equal opportunities to training are available to women and men, women are able to participate less often than men due to family-related reasons (UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, 2009; Eurostat, 2011).

      In 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 reasons (Saito and Weidemann, 1990; Swanson and Rajalahti, 2010). First, women’s role in 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. Finally, social norms and perceptions may contribute to women’s exclusion. Women have been traditionally regarded as having less decision-making power in the household. Also, cultural, including religious factors, sometimes inhibit male agents to communicate with women farmers. However, awareness about the need of reaching 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
    • Participation of adults in non-formal education and training by sex

      Participation in continuing vocational training in enterprises by sex

      Use of agricultural extension services by sex



  • + Sources of data
    • Household surveys on adult education and training, conducted so far in the more developed regions, collect data on participation in job-related training along with information on types of obstacles to participation, reasons for participations, number of hours invested or cost of training.

      Enterprise surveys may cover participation in vocational training, along with other individual, job and company characteristics.

      Multi-purpose household surveys conducted in countries with substantial proportion of population working in agriculture may collect data on use of extension services along with other information on extension subjects (crops, livestock or other activities) as well as 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 persons who used agricultural extension services as well as sex composition of the staff involved in delivering the agricultural information.


  • + Conceptual and measurement issues
    • Non-formal adult education and training has not been part of the regular programme of data collection in national statistical offices or ministries of education. Although life-long learning activities have received considerable attention in the Beijing Platform for Action, gender statistics related to this topic have been rarely produced. In the European Union, guidelines on the measurement of formal and non-formal adult education have been recently developed by Eurostat, and surveys such as Adult Education Survey and Continuing and Vocational Training Surveys are conducted in many European countries. However, there are no international efforts yet in developing data collection instruments focused on issues of adult education and training specific to the less developed regions.

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