In recent decades we have witnessed dramatic changes concerning gender equality in society. Nevertheless, gender bias and gender-based barriers continue to limit opportunities for individual expression, the realization of personal potential and scope for success. From a young age, gender roles shape self-image, behavior and professional aspirations.
The educational sphere is influenced by and perpetuates these perceptions.
Gender Bias in the Educational Field
- Social perceptions of the differing nature between genders, create distinct expectations which limit the realization of the student’s potential in educational settings.
- Educational staff are usually unaware of the ways in which their expectation of their students and daily routine is influenced by gender bias.
- Gender roles influence student's behavior and attitudes. Boys tend to be less interested in reading and studying, while girls have low confidence of their abilities in math and science.
- Gender based violence is a common phenomenon in the educational setting. It includes sexual violence, bullying on the basis of sexual orientation, and social sanctions against students who do not conform to gendered expectations.
- Gender is a key element of identity. However, students rarely participate in open non-judgmental discussions of this topic.
- Dealing with gender issues is often pushed aside for what are perceived to be more pressing educational matters.
- While awareness of gender issues is increasing, a systemic action focused on implementing new practices is required for achieving change.
The Israeli Institute for Gender Equity in Education was established with the goal of creating an equitable educational environment for students of all genders.
Our vision is a society in which each individual has the right and the opportunity to express and realize themselves fully and to live a life free from the limitations of gender bias.
This right must be realized first and foremost within the educational field, which constitutes the primary context for learning, growth, and development.
Change can be promoted by a conscious and active examination of the educational environment through a gender lens, for the purpose of identifying and replacing discriminatory practices with ones that advance gender equity.
We believe that promoting gender equity in education is not a privilege, but an essential need for all students, setting the stage for future generations of adults.
How do we operate?
- Collaborating with educational organizations to implement practices advancing gender equity
- Developing models and tools in the field of education and gender
- Professional training for educational staff
- Creating and operating educational initiatives and programs
- Developing professional seminars, conferences and learning opportunities
- Research and evaluation
- International partnerships
Yael Boim-Fein, Founding Director for the Israeli Institution for Gender Equity in Education
Yael Boim-Fein is an educational entrepreneur and a specialist in the fields of gender and education. Ms. Boim-Fein is an executive member of the international Gender and Education Association (GEA) and a member of the research lab for feminist theory at the Van Leer Institute.
She founded and directed the education department at Beit Avi Chai, and has an academic background in Media and Culture studies, Gender studies and Pluralistic Education. Ms. Boim-Fein is a graduate of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and the American State Department’s Leadership Program.