Gendered geographical inequalities in junior high school enrollment. Do infrastructure, human, and financial resources matter?
Renwick, Chesworth Brittney
Wabwire, Cedrick Joseph
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the spatial patterns of gender inequality in junior high school enrollment and the educational resource investments associated with the spatial trends. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses data on 170 districts in Ghana and hot spot analysis based on the Getis-Ord Gi statistic, linear regression, and geographically weighted regression to assess spatial variability in gender parity in junior high school enrollment and its association with resource allocation. Findings – The results reveal rural-urban and north-south variability in gender parity. Results show that educational resources contribute to gender parity. At the national level, educational expenditure, and the number of classrooms, teachers, and available writing places have the strongest positive associations with girls’ enrollment. These relationships are spatially moderated, such that predominantly rural and Northern districts experience the most substantial benefits of educational investments. Practical implications – The findings show that strategic allocation of infrastructure, financial, and human resources through local governments holds promise for a more impactful and sustainable educational development of all children, regardless of gender. Besides seeking solutions that address the lack of resources at the national level, there is a need for locally tailored efforts to remove the barriers to equitable distribution of educational resources across gender and socioeconomic groups. Originality/value – This paper’s use of advanced spatial analysis techniques allows for in-depth examination of gender parity and investments in educational resources, and highlights the spatial nuances in how such investments predict gender disparities in junior high school enrollment. The findings speak to the need for targeted and localized efforts to address gender and geographical disparities in educational opportunities.