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This collection of articles by development workers and researchers focuses on learning opportunities for women offered by education and training. There is a continuing imbalance in educational participation – women make up an estimated two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people – and writers reflect on the causes and consequences of this. While this lack of opportunity to learn is shocking in itself, equal access to existing services is not sufficient to make education empowering for women. Too often the formal education system serves merely to confirm gender stereotypes, and school women for subordination. Some writers examine the scope offered by non-formal education to challenge male-biased systems, including training for challenging gender based inequality.

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