Gender Segregated Universities and Classrooms: Necessarily a Bad Thing?

Dr. Ann Scholl
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In 1960’s and ‘70’s, feminists argued strongly for gender integrated classrooms. Many pointed out that curriculum for gender segregated schools and universities often differed in ways deleterious to girls and women in female-only classrooms. As sexist, gender-based curriculum fell out of fashion and practice, feminists noted that girls and women in classrooms did not benefit and, in some cases, were harmed by integrated classrooms.

In Kuwait, laws require gender segregation in education. The type of gender segregation is not complete: both men and women may attend the same university, but gender segregation is required in the classroom. With new private universities starting in the area, many students, educators and parents are now arguing for integrated classrooms, arguing that fairness and equality of education entail fully integrated classrooms and universities.

This paper examines whether gender segregation in Kuwait, specifically at American University Kuwait, is indeed sexist. The differences in social context and educational background may entail that what is beneficial in the US for female students may not be beneficial for female students in Kuwait. Indeed, legal enforcement of gender segregation itself may provide a different context for the educational experience. This essay will argue that offering gender segregated classrooms can be educationally beneficial for female students and will finally suggest revisions to both law and practice of gender education in Kuwait.

Keywords: Gender, Pedadogy, Feminism
Stream: Teaching and Learning, Sexuality, Gender, Families
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Ann Scholl

Ass't Professor, Philosophy, American University Kuwait
Kuwait City, Kuwait

Ref: H06P0387