This article reviews the extent to which the educational system has acknowledged the importance to women of the informal sector of the economy, and the extent to which it has sought to prepare them for employment or self-employment within it. It assesses the record of both formal and non-formal education in providing women with the necessary skills to compete with men for employment, and concludes that both have generally failed to assist women to obtain skilled, well-paid, and secure jobs, leaving them in overwhelming numbers in subsistence-level activities in the informal sector. Within the non-formal approach to education, the article examines training in income-generating projects, which are a major conduit for assistance to poor women in developing countries. Some recommendations for improved strategies of education and training provision are presented.
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