A UNESCO report on the world’s education monitoring says that madrassa graduates have “less positive opinions of women with higher education and working mothers and believed that the primary role of wives was to raise children.’
The report “Deepening the discourse on those left behind” also says that the graduates from faith-based schools like madrasa have a belief that “God’s order determines the ideal number of children, and they desired larger families.”
It says in Asia, faith-based schools are likely to have an impact on the rampant “patriarchal attitudes and social norms.”
The report also comes with a disclaimer and advises against “exaggerating any potentially adverse consequences of faith-based schools.”
Madrasa and faith schools thus are likely to offset some of the benefits of expanded educational access to gender equality. “In Asia, non-state faith-based schools have promoted girls’ access to education, but at a cost, according to a Worldwide Education Monitoring report published by UNESCO on the topic.
“Several decades ago gender inequality in education was high in many Muslim-majority countries in Asia. Significant progress has been achieved in increasing access and bridging the gender gap in partnership with non-state faith-based providers. The increase in enrollment of women helped reduce social constraints on women’s mobility in conservative rural areas, where madrassas have been a low-cost platform for achieving universal education for women.”
The research for the report examined data linking faith-based schools, especially the non-state types, with progress or stasis of gender equality in their societies.
“A study comparing female secondary school and madrasa graduates found that the latter had less favorable attitudes toward higher education for girls and working mothers, with children as the main responsibility of wives, they believed. was that the optimum number of children depended on God and indicated a preference for larger families.
“Further analysis suggested that madrasa students, especially from unaccredited institutions, had a less favorable attitude about women and their abilities than their peers in secular schools. Families of teachers in traditional madrasas were significantly larger. were found,” it said.
“It is very difficult to separate the effects of religious belief and socioeconomic background from the effects of non-state faith-based schools on progress toward gender equality. Madrasa enrollment was found to be positively correlated with domestic religious belief and degree of physical distancing.” from a non-faith-based school.
“Their unique cultural and institutional histories, which often blur the boundaries between state and non-state institutions, further complicate analysis. Differences between them may include the ideology followed, the scriptures, and the Islamic sciences. It may be emphasized, the presence of daily rituals, boarding arrangements, and attachment to local mosques. These significant differences mean that experiences are country- and even school-specific,” the report said.