Women in Educational Policy-making

Women in Educational Policy-making

A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of the Situation in the E.U
Anne Snick, Agnes Munter

Enhancing the participation of women in high-level decision-making in several sectors of society has been on the agenda of national and international institutions for several years. These endeavours, however, are not always equally successful. In this book, the authors evaluate the participation of women in the field of educational policy-making in western Europe, both from a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. Over the last decade, many countries have taken legal steps in order to eliminate structural obstacles to women's access to high level positions; nevertheless, women still take up only a small minority of these functions, which suggests that cultural factors are obstructing women's empowerment as much as juridical factors.

Increasing the numbers of women as a purely quantitative approach to the problem is inadequate, because it leaves these cultural elements unchallenged. Therefore, in the first, theoretical part of this book, the authors address the question of the relationship between women's participation in politics and the question of social emancipation. Through a deconstruction of the different arguments for increasing women's participation in policy-making, the authors try to indicate in what sense or under what conditions women's participation in politics can address not only the problem of women's equal rights, but also that of engendering a less discriminative, more democratic and emancipatory politics. In the second part, they analyse on an empirical level the participation of women in educational policy-making in the member countries of the E.U. The aim thereby is to explore some general tendencies and to formulate hypotheses concerning interrelationships between some of the data. This part gives rise to a number of interesting questions for further research.