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Veronika Honkasalo

This article examines multiculturalism and gender equality in the light of ethnicity, gender, and agency so as to illustrate how gender equality is used as a marker of Finnishness in various youth work contexts. The data presented consists of interviews with youth workers (n=42) and ethnographic fieldwork carried out from 2003 to 2005. The results illustrate that questions related to multiculturalism have enhanced the visibility of gender equality in youth work. The identification of gender-based inequality is connected, in particular, to girls from migrant backgrounds whose education and well-being are of social concern. Youth work itself is often seen as gender-neutral and equality-based. However, this illusion of gender equality reflects more the ideals of equality which are not being concretized in the practices of youth work. Equality in this context is defined as a purely quantitative concept: the solution to any possible inequalities is, therefore, that everyone should be treated in the same way.

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Gender Parity and Equality in the Sultanate of Oman

A Case in Education for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries

Faryal Khan and Maricel Fernandez-Carag

elimination of gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achievement of gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality (UNESCO 2000

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Boys in Education in Europe

Theoretical Reflections and the Case of Early School Leaving

Elli Scambor and Victor Seidler

The paper discusses the phenomenon of the “boy crisis” in education by following trajectories which seek to describe the situation of boys at school in different countries across Europe in its complexity. The current study of the Role of Men in Gender Equality (Scambor, Wojnicka & Bergmann, eds., 2012) offers an international comparison of the situation of boys and outlines major trends related to gender disparities in education across Europe. An in-depth analysis of male early school leavers leads to a deeper understanding of boys and men as heterogeneous social groups. Relations between so called “costs” and “privileges” in education show considerable varieties due to differences between boys, with educational careers being strongly influenced by social class, “race,” and ethnicities as well as migration backgrounds.

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Solveig Roth and Dagny Stuedahl

Introduction Norwegian gender equality ideals are in line with those of the Nordic welfare state model; they seek to remove the gender divide in all aspects of society like family, education, and work life. However, these ideals are not yet fully

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Learning to Lead

Challenging Girls in Rural Chinese Schools

Heidi Ross and Lei Wang

Leadership training is often described as an important component and goal of girls' secondary education and also a crucial step for realizing gender equality. This paper explores the possibilities for and barriers to effective leadership training in one "Spring Bud" girls' education project conducted in a poverty-stricken area of Shaanxi Province since 2001. Following a review of the Chinese and international literature on girls' secondary education and leadership training, the authors explore different understandings of "leadership" (and empowerment) among various project stakeholders and indicate the urgency of a mutual understanding of "leadership" and how it might be mentored in girls in formal educational settings. Authors draw upon interviews, observations, student writing, as well as the results of a 2006 survey of nearly 1,000 participating girls and their homeroom teachers, in their discussion of how to connect the concept of "leadership training" with the resources and constraints that shape girls' lives and future educational and career expectations and aspirations. The paper concludes with policy implications.

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Organizing Girls' Groups for a Better Future

Local and Global Challenges and Solutions

Yulia Gradskova

The rapid political and social changes in Russia in the 1990s contributed to the circulation of many new ideas about what might count as the successful start of adulthood and also about gender norms for young people. My aim in this article is to explore the normativity of girlhood in contemporary Russia by focusing on the Nordic-Russian cooperation project that runs group workshops for girls and by looking, in particular, at a special program that was carried out in the Kaliningrad region. I show that in spite of the special and unique character of the project, the realization of the program in the Russian context partly recalls some other projects in which the general perception of heteronormativity, and the opposition of male/female as natural is left untouched.

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A Music Room of One's Own

Discursive Constructions of Girls-only Spaces for Learning Popular Music

Cecilia Björck

This article elaborates on discursive constructions of girls-only settings through the spatial metaphor of a room of one's own, as articulated in round-table discussions among staff and participants from girl-centered music programs in Sweden. The idea of a separate room refers to spaces for collective female empowerment as well as for individual knowledge acquisition and creativity. These spaces are constructed so as to provide the possibility for exploration, subjectivity, and focus, by offering (partial and temporary) escape from competition and control, from a gendered and gendering gaze, and from distraction. Girl-centered programs are also discussed as paradoxical because they function as gender-neutral when seen from the inside, but gender-specific when seen from the outside.

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Margalit Shilo

At the turn of the twenty-first century, educated feminist religious Jewish women who regard themselves as obligated to observe Halacha and to adhere to the framework of patriarchal institutions feel torn and frustrated. They want to continue to maintain uncompromising loyalty to their families, congregations, and communities, and at the same time make exhaustive efforts to modify the Jewish religious system from within and invest it with new, egalitarian content. This article describes the emergence of Kolech—Religious Women's Forum, an organization founded by Israeli religious feminist women in 1998. Kolech aims at producing new answers to these pressing dilemmas. The article discusses the possibility of combining feminist concepts with patriarchal traditions, analyzes Kolech's strategy and newly adopted proposals, and examines Israeli attitudes toward this organization.

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Joyce Marie Mushaben

Germans have now been unified for thirty years, longer than they had been separated by concrete barriers, yet the Wall in their respective heads has persisted. Unequal wages, a lack of investment in structurally weak regions, and ongoing western elite domination continue to fuel Eastern perceptions of second-class citizenship, despite significant shifts in the fates of key social groups who initially saw themselves as the “winners” and losers” of unification. This article considers the dialectical identities of four groups whose collective opportunity structures have been dramatically reconfigured since 1990: eastern intellectuals and dissidents; working women and mothers; eastern youth; and middle-aged men. It argues that the two groups counted among the immediate winners of unification—dissidents and men—have traded places over the last three decades with the two strata counted among unity’s core losers, women and youth. It also testifies to fundamental, albeit rarely noted changes that have taken hold with regard to the identities of western Germans across thirty years of unification.

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Gender, Leadership and Representative Democracy

The Differential Impacts of the Global Pandemic

Kim Rubenstein, Trish Bergin, and Pia Rowe

University of Canberra, representing a collaboration of academics and researchers in conjunction with a national network of women advocates, policy consultants, and gender equality organizations. The SFN put 10 recommendations to parliament ( SFN 2020