Citation

GROUP 1. The impact of gender equity policies in Mexican higher education: A case study

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Abstract:

Faculty chairperson: Paul Tarc
Writing stage

Considering that there is a gender-equity-friendly policy environment that impacts the particular experiences of women in graduate programs in developing countries, the general question of my study is: what is the quality of women’s experience and participation in a male-dominated graduate program? Where quality refers to both the ‘character’ of the participation and the degree to which women are supported as gendered subjects.

Aims
The major focus of this study is to assess, in a gender equity policy environment, the quality of women’s participation in the male dominated programs of Science and Engineering (SE) in the National Polytechnic Institution of Mexico. A detailed study of different administrative, teaching and learning registers of gender equity will highlight some of the remaining challenges of this leading institution. This study has the following aims:

• To identify administrative strategies intended to advance gender equity at the program level that seek to promote and advance the participation of women in the institute.
• To examine specific teaching initiatives and practices intended to address gender equity needs at the level of learning in SE graduate programs.
• To analyze female students’ participation and inclusion in the program.

Generally speaking, this study will add knowledge to the research in the fields of gender equity, women in higher education, particularly the participation of students in graduate programs in a non-Western country, and the practice of gender equity policies. The results may also be significant for other institutions with a predominantly male population in developing/globalizing nations.
Thesis statement stating what the dissertation expects readers/audience to know
Female access into higher education does not seem to be an issue of concern anymore. In Mexico, however, studies have focused their attention describing the access of women in higher education (Bustos, 2003; Bustos, 2008; ANUIES, 2004). Female presence on campus, nonetheless, changes not only the composition of participants, but it also brings into question how these students are treated and supported in these institutions. There is a paucity of research studying how the gender-equity-friendly policy environment impacts the particular experiences of women in graduate programs in developing countries; this project will describe how women participate in higher education in such an environment.

Theoretical framework
The theoretical framework I intend to use is postcolonial feminist theory. For Mills, postcolonial feminist theory “…has moved from a rather parochial concern with white, middle class English-speaking women, to a focus on women in different national and cultural contexts” (1998, p. 98). Also, Mohanty identifies the phrase “women as a category of analysis” (2003, p. 22) that refers to the feminist tendency to assume that women worldwide are a homogeneous group produced on the basis of secondary sociological and anthropological universals. This idea fixes subjects and robs them of their political and social agency (Mohanty, 2003) because of the historically specific material reality of groups of women. The experiences of women “must be theorized and interpreted within specific societies in order both to understand it better and to organize effectively to change it (Mohanty, 2003, p. 24)”. Thus, gender analysis requires particular study of the local interaction with attention to the national and global interaction as well.

Institutions of education have the potential to maintain or transform gender constructions (Kessler, Ashenden, Connell, & Dowsett, 1985; Corson, 1992); however, the institutions of higher education fail to question the current subordination of gender, mainly the masculine traditional ideologies that prevail in SE for example. In other words, despite the establishment of gender policies, administrators, professors, and supervisors do not typically consider explicitly addressing gender or promoting gender equity in their curriculum (Stromquist, 2003). At the institutional level, Shackleton, Riordan & Simonis (2006) studied the initiatives aimed at achieving greater gender equity in a South African engineering program. They found that little effort was put into providing any developmental programmes for the staff that might have affected a change in the gender climate of the institution.

Methods
I will employ a case study to analyze the quality of female participation at the institution, which is one of the leading research universities in the country. I will use triangulation that refers to the use of two or more methods of data collection (Cohen, Manion & Morris, 2007), in this case I will use: interviews and document analysis. For the purpose of this project, I will interview male and female students, administrators, professors and secretaries of the institution. Document analysis will help me reveal the policy intention and the interviews the product of the policies.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493382_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Sanchez Cruz, Elida. "GROUP 1. The impact of gender equity policies in Mexican higher education: A case study" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493382_index.html>

APA Citation:

Sanchez Cruz, E. , 2011-05-01 "GROUP 1. The impact of gender equity policies in Mexican higher education: A case study" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493382_index.html

Publication Type: CIES New Scholar Fellow Proposal
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Faculty chairperson: Paul Tarc
Writing stage

Considering that there is a gender-equity-friendly policy environment that impacts the particular experiences of women in graduate programs in developing countries, the general question of my study is: what is the quality of women’s experience and participation in a male-dominated graduate program? Where quality refers to both the ‘character’ of the participation and the degree to which women are supported as gendered subjects.

Aims
The major focus of this study is to assess, in a gender equity policy environment, the quality of women’s participation in the male dominated programs of Science and Engineering (SE) in the National Polytechnic Institution of Mexico. A detailed study of different administrative, teaching and learning registers of gender equity will highlight some of the remaining challenges of this leading institution. This study has the following aims:

• To identify administrative strategies intended to advance gender equity at the program level that seek to promote and advance the participation of women in the institute.
• To examine specific teaching initiatives and practices intended to address gender equity needs at the level of learning in SE graduate programs.
• To analyze female students’ participation and inclusion in the program.

Generally speaking, this study will add knowledge to the research in the fields of gender equity, women in higher education, particularly the participation of students in graduate programs in a non-Western country, and the practice of gender equity policies. The results may also be significant for other institutions with a predominantly male population in developing/globalizing nations.
Thesis statement stating what the dissertation expects readers/audience to know
Female access into higher education does not seem to be an issue of concern anymore. In Mexico, however, studies have focused their attention describing the access of women in higher education (Bustos, 2003; Bustos, 2008; ANUIES, 2004). Female presence on campus, nonetheless, changes not only the composition of participants, but it also brings into question how these students are treated and supported in these institutions. There is a paucity of research studying how the gender-equity-friendly policy environment impacts the particular experiences of women in graduate programs in developing countries; this project will describe how women participate in higher education in such an environment.

Theoretical framework
The theoretical framework I intend to use is postcolonial feminist theory. For Mills, postcolonial feminist theory “…has moved from a rather parochial concern with white, middle class English-speaking women, to a focus on women in different national and cultural contexts” (1998, p. 98). Also, Mohanty identifies the phrase “women as a category of analysis” (2003, p. 22) that refers to the feminist tendency to assume that women worldwide are a homogeneous group produced on the basis of secondary sociological and anthropological universals. This idea fixes subjects and robs them of their political and social agency (Mohanty, 2003) because of the historically specific material reality of groups of women. The experiences of women “must be theorized and interpreted within specific societies in order both to understand it better and to organize effectively to change it (Mohanty, 2003, p. 24)”. Thus, gender analysis requires particular study of the local interaction with attention to the national and global interaction as well.

Institutions of education have the potential to maintain or transform gender constructions (Kessler, Ashenden, Connell, & Dowsett, 1985; Corson, 1992); however, the institutions of higher education fail to question the current subordination of gender, mainly the masculine traditional ideologies that prevail in SE for example. In other words, despite the establishment of gender policies, administrators, professors, and supervisors do not typically consider explicitly addressing gender or promoting gender equity in their curriculum (Stromquist, 2003). At the institutional level, Shackleton, Riordan & Simonis (2006) studied the initiatives aimed at achieving greater gender equity in a South African engineering program. They found that little effort was put into providing any developmental programmes for the staff that might have affected a change in the gender climate of the institution.

Methods
I will employ a case study to analyze the quality of female participation at the institution, which is one of the leading research universities in the country. I will use triangulation that refers to the use of two or more methods of data collection (Cohen, Manion & Morris, 2007), in this case I will use: interviews and document analysis. For the purpose of this project, I will interview male and female students, administrators, professors and secretaries of the institution. Document analysis will help me reveal the policy intention and the interviews the product of the policies.


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