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Educating for a just world without gender

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  • Lc Special Aspects Of Education
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Law


In this article we examine Okin’s ideal of a ‘gender-free society’ and its relations to central educational values and practices. We suggest that this ideal pervades her work on the family, culture and, more recently, her focus on the developing world, and gives her liberal feminist stance its radical bite. We contrast this ideal with the more standard notion of gender-neutrality (non-discrimination) and argue that Okin’s more demanding concept (going beyond equal access to positions, benefits and opportunities as currently defined, to insist on the critical overhauling of the systems that determine them) far better accords with requirements of justice. We then go on to explore the contribution to a ‘gender-free society’ of construing women’s rights as human rights which Okin saw as crucial to countering threats against gender equality from competing claims of both multiculturalists and economic development theorists. We consider implications for education (including schooling) arising from the commitment to bring about a ‘gender-free society’.

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