By Ingrid Fernandez
Belize was ranked 12th of 19 countries with the highest ratio of women to men in higher education in an article by international publication, Business Insider Magazine.
Belize is “another nation with a small population where women are far better educated than men. Women outnumber men by 1.68 times in tertiary education,” the article said.
There are more than 100 countries in the world where women outperform men. The magazine named the countries where women have bigger educational advantages over their male counterparts.
Education is a crucial factor to close the gender gap and so the magazine looked at countries where women are more likely to pursue tertiary education and have higher degrees than men.
The promotion of education equality is Millennial Developmental Goal number three among the United Nations Developmental Goals (UNDG). The goal is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.
The MDG Report shows that in pre-school, boys and girls are at parity, and in primary school boys slightly surpass girls due to more repetitions among males.
The report suggests that one factor that contributes to the parity at this level is compulsory education, which mandates that every Belizean child between the ages of five to 14 years should be in school.
Also this is the areaeducational where the government puts most emphasis in teacher training and support programs.
In secondary school the disparity starts to surface and by the tertiary level there is a 1.66 women to men ratio. The MDG Report expresses concern that there are “challenges to ensure parity for boys at the secondary and tertiary levels.”
The MDG Report explains that part of the reason for “Male Marginalization” in the education system is due to a displacement of values of the traditional patriarchal society.
The fact that boys experience special problems in pursuing their education, says the MDG Report, does not mean that the table of gender inequality has been turned against men, ridding them of their dominant hold, but rather that the problems stem from another source.
Gender identity for men, or what it means to be a man, is strongly tied to expectations about their dominance in society and these surge from the education system, the report said.
Qatar, Barbados, Jamaica, Kuwait and Bahrain ranked in the top five on the Business Insider list.